Health Reform Implementation
On March 23rd, 2010, President Obama signed into law landmark health care reform legislation that will guarantee access to health coverage for more than 95% of all children and millions of young adults in America. With the passage of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Congress and the President have taken a major step towards ensuring affordable and comprehensive health coverage for all children and families in America.
Learn more about what the legislation means for children and young adults and see our implementation timeline to find out when important provisions for children and families go into effect, and how many have already benefited from the legislation.
March 19, 2012
This week we mark the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although not yet fully implemented, millions of children have already benefited and millions more will be helped as additional benefits take effect in 2014.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, today:
- Insurers can no longer take away coverage when a child becomes sick.
- Insurers can no longer refuse to cover children with pre-existing conditions.
Four to 17 million children under age 18 are estimated to have some type of pre-existing condition and up to 2 million of them were estimated to be uninsured before passage of the ACA.
- Insurers can no longer put lifetime caps on coverage.
Lifetime caps have been lifted for 105 million Americans, including 28 million children.
- Young adults are now allowed to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
Approximately 2.5 million additional young adults have already gained health insurance coverage, 1.3 million of whom are racial and ethnic minorities (736,000 Latino, 410,000 Black, 97,000 Asian, 29,000 American Indian/Alaska Natives).
- There is no cost sharing for preventive health visits such as well-child check ups.
Fifty-four million people with private health insurance—including 14.1 million children—have already received preventive care at no cost.
- School-based health centers (SBHCs) are expanding to provide more than 2 million children and young adults across the country the primary medical care, mental health services, preventive care, and social services they need to be healthy and ready to learn.
Last year SBHCs expanded health care access to nearly 500,000 additional children and adolescents.
- Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were protected and strengthened, helping bring the number of uninsured children to an all-time low.
During fiscal year 2011, more than 1.5 million children gained health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP, bringing the total number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP during 2011 to more than 43.5 million. More than half of the children served by Medicaid and CHIP are children of color.
And this is only the beginning - in 2014, more children will experience more benefits! Children will continue to benefit from the ACA as we move towards its full implementation in 2014. At that time:
- State exchanges will be required to have a child-only coverage option to ensure that children being raised by grandparents, children in families where an insured parent is not offered dependent coverage, or children in mixed immigration status households have access to coverage.
- Children up to age 26 who age out of foster care will be eligible to continue receiving Medicaid.
- 16 million children, parents and childless adults with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($30,657 for a family of four in 2012) will be eligible for Medicaid, with its guaranteed comprehensive benefits, including 1.6 million children who are currently eligible for CHIP. In order for newly eligible parents to enroll in Medicaid, they must first ensure their children are covered.