How Healthcare Law affects Mississippians
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.
The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.
The decision came as a sharp rebuff and disappointment to congressional Republicans, many of whom had expected the court to strike down at least some parts of the law.
The Healthcare Law means different things to different states. Here is how Mississippi is affected:
Providing new coverage options for young adults
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 3.1 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of December 2011, 37,000 young adults in Mississippi gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors
Thanks to the new health care law, 34,536 people with Medicare in Mississippi received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. Since the law was enacted, Mississippi residents with Medicare have saved a total of $33,391,044 on their prescription drugs. In the first five months of 2012, 5,523 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount has resulted in an average savings of $606 per person, and a total savings of $3,347,308 in Mississippi. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay
In 2011, 357,504 people with Medicare in Mississippi received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And in the first five months of 2012, 172,588 people with Medicare received free preventive services. Because of the law, 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 430,000 in Mississippi.
Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule
Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing. If they don’t, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 51,744 Mississippi residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $10,122,532 in rebates from insurance companies this summer. These rebates will average $329 for the 30,800 families in Mississippi covered by a policy.
Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases
In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Mississippi has received $4.2 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
Removing lifetime limits on health benefits
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. Already, 844,000 residents, including 327,000 women and 223,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.
Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
As of April 2012, 260 previously uninsured residents of Mississippi who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law.
Supporting Mississippi’s work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Mississippi has received $21.1 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
$1 million in Planning Grants: This grant provides Mississippi the resources needed to conduct the research and planning necessary to build a better health insurance marketplace and determine how its exchange will be operated and governed.
$20.1 million in Exchange Establishment Grants: These grants are helping States continue their work to implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Preventing illness and promoting health
Since 2010, Mississippi has received $5.2 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Mississippi, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.
Increasing support for community health centers
The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 178 existing community health centers in Mississippi. Health centers in Mississippi have received $37.4 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, enable health centers to increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services, and/or support major construction and renovation projects.
Strengthening partnerships with Mississippi
The law gives states support for their work to build the health care workforce, crack down on fraud, and support public health.
- $4.1 million for school-based health centers, to help clinics expand and provide more health care services such as screenings to students.
- $191,000 for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.
- $3.1 million for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs. These programs bring health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn – such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition.