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Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013

This Week's News

ACA roll-out: New fact sheet calls out essentials for physicians, patients

ACA roll-out: New fact sheet calls out essentials for physicians, patients

As implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kicks into full gear over the next few months, a new fact sheet from the AMA can help physicians and patients understand the upcoming steps and benefits under the law.

This two-page resource explains how the online portal for the new health insurance exchanges to be launched Oct. 1 will allow patients to research, compare and select insurance coverage. The enrollment period will end March 31, and coverage will begin as early as Jan. 1.

Also outlined are important benefits patients will have when the ACA is in full effect, including:

  • Patients cannot be denied coverage based on a pre-existing health condition.
  • Arbitrarily canceling insurance coverage because a patient gets sick will be illegal.
  • Lifetime and yearly dollar limits will be removed so patients cannot "run out" of coverage for essential health care services.
  • Health insurers will be required to spend a certain amount of premium payments on coverage rather than administrative costs.

The fact sheet also highlights ACA Medicare benefits, information about the delay to the "employer mandate" and details about the individual mandate, which will take effect Jan. 1.