Health Care Reform & CHA

The new federal health care law, passed in March 2010, is called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and makes health care more affordable and accessible. Although the ACA will not come into full effect until 2014, many of its provisions have already been implemented, such as:

  • Those who have been without insurance for six months and have a pre-existing condition can join a state-sponsored health plan. In New York, this insurance is called the Bridge Plan (To view the pre-existing conditions covered under the Bridge Plan, please visit here. For more information on this provision, visit here.
  • Young adults may be covered under their parents’ insurance as part of family coverage up until the age of 26, whether or not they are working or living with their parents. For more information on this provision, visit here.
  • Lifetime and annual benefit limits are being phased out and will be eliminated by 2014.For more information on this provision, visit here.
  • People in Medicare Part D who hit the donut hole are able to obtain discounts on their prescriptions (until the donut hole is phased out completely in 2020). For more information on this provision, visit here
  • Tax credits are available to small businesses so that they can provide health insurance to their employees. For more information on this provision, visit here.
    • Children under 19 may not be excluded from a health plan because of a pre-existing condition. For more information on this provision, visit here.

    As a part of the ACA, Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs) were formed around the county to help people obtain health insurance information, enroll in plans, file complaints and appeals and solve problems. CAPs help consumers in New York State with their health care questions. CAPs play four important roles:

    • Education
    • Assistance with enrollment and renewal of coverage
    • Navigation of coverage and benefits
    • Reporting back to policy makers

    Community Health Advocates (CHA) was designated as New York State’s CAP in 2010 to provide insurance assistance. 

    Benefits Plus - Community Health Advocates - Community Service Society of New York - Health Care For All New York
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