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Benefits of the Health Care Reform Law in Minnesota's Fourth Congressional District

April 6, 2012

On March 23, 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law historic health care reform legislation: the Affordable Care Act. At the two-year anniversary of this landmark law, new data demonstrates the benefits that the law has already provided to seniors, young adults, small businesses, and many others in Congresswoman McCollum's district. As a result of the law:

  • 4,600 young adults in the district now have health insurance
  • 6,700 seniors in the district received prescription drug discounts worth $4 million, an average discount of $600 per senior
  • 47,000 seniors in the district received Medicare preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles
  • 27,000 children and 120,000 adults now have health insurance that covers preventive services without paying any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles
  • 480 small businesses in the district received tax credits to help maintain or expand health care coverage for their employees
  • $30.2 million in public health grants have been given to community health centers, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers in the district to improve the community's health
  • 7,000 to 34,000 children with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers.

In addition, the consumer protection provisions of the Affordable Care Act have ended some of the worst abuses of health insurers. These provisions have helped protect 170,000 residents of the district from excessive rate increases by limiting the amount of money that health insurers can spend on administrative expenses and profits and requiring health insurers to post and justify rate increases of 10% or more; they have eliminated the threat of health coverage rescissions for more than 440,000 residents; and they have banned insurance companies from establishing lifetime coverage limits for 220,000 residents.

Starting in September of this year, health insurers and employers will be required to provide 440,000 district residents with an easy-to-understand summary of benefits and coverage under their health care plan, providing them with clear and consistent information so they can easily compare health care options. And when the health care reform law goes fully into effect, everyone in the district will be protected from discrimination by insurers based on a preexisting health condition.