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How the Affordable Care Act Has Affected Pennsylvania






     While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has garnered more than its share of controversy since it was signed into law, there can be very little disagreement about the fact that it has had a significant impact on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over the past three years. It starts with the health insurance marketplace established in every state. Of the approximately 1.2 million Pennsylvanians (12 percent of the non-elderly population) who are uninsured, about 1.1 million could qualify for either tax credits for health insurance or to purchase insurance directly through the exchange when it becomes reality in 2014.

Refusal of Medicaid Expansion

Pennsylvania's governor has refused to allow his state to participate in the ACA expansion of Medicaid, but a recent study conducted by the Pennsylvania legislature's Independent Fiscal Office estimated that the expansion could mean a boon of about $435 million for the state's treasury. Much of that money would be savings realized by the movement of residents from the state's medical assistance program onto the Medicaid rolls, which would be federally funded in full for the first three years, and 90 percent federally funded after that. Uncertainties about the continuance of federal funding have caused half of the nation's states to reject the Medicaid expansion plans, so Pennsylvania is not alone.

Helping Young, Old and In Between

One significant impact of the ACA has been felt by thousands of Pennsylvanians in their 20s, young adults who might find themselves without a job and health insurance after college. The ACA allowed people under 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance. As of the end of 2011, the most recent date data was available, approximately 91,000 young Pennsylvanians were taking advantage of this change in the law.

And in 2012, thanks to a provision that closed the "donut hole" in Medicare Part D drug coverage, participating Pennsylvanians saved an average of $753 -- $167.6 million statewide. In addition, out-of-pocket costs for 1.034 million seniors in Pennsylvania benefited from the elimination of deductibles and co-payments for preventive and early-detection medical services.

Price Controls and Rebates

Nearly every Pennsylvania citizen, even those with their own health insurance through work or personal policies, is expected to benefit from the ACA cost control measures. The Act's 80/20 rule means that at least 80 percent of customers' premiums must be spent on health care costs and quality improvements instead of expenditures such as executive salaries. In 2012, that led directly to rebates for 575,551 Pennsylvanians at an average of $165 per family. In addition, Pennsylvania has received $5.3 million from the federal government through the ACA for programs that help guard against unreasonable premium increases.

Other Benefits to Pennsylvanians

Even without the expansion of Medicaid, Pennsylvanians stand to benefit extensively from the new health care law. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been funneled to the commonwealth in the form of research grants designed to help prevent illness and promote health. In addition, health centers in Pennsylvania received nearly $77 million in grants to support ongoing operations and to establish new sites, expand services and support major capital improvements.
No matter where one stands politically on the Affordable Care Act, there can be no debate that the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have benefited already, and stand to benefit for decades in the future. The clincher: No longer will anyone be turned down because of a pre-existing condition. That alone has helped nearly 7,000 Pennsylvanians the people who needed health insurance the most, but were ineligible under previous law find a new lease on life in the Keystone State.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to health care.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer insight into a multitude of topics, including health care. http://www.healthgrades.com/group-directory/pennsylvania-pa/wayne/laser-spine-institute-9961d422




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Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to health care.


Posted on 2013-05-16, By: *

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