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WAC hears about Affordable Care Act
The nation’s health care reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is being phased in during the next three years.
“It won’t be totally implemented until 2014,” Julie Bingman, a health care advocate from UHCAN Ohio, said at a Feb. 16 meeting hosted by the Westland Area Commission (WAC).
Bingman said the law prohibits denial for pre-existing conditions, requires almost everyone to buy insurance, and makes insurance affordable for those who otherwise can’t afford it.
“It’s like three legs of a stool,” she explained. “You pull one out and it fails.”
Among the provisions that went into effect in January was one eliminating the limits on free check-ups for seniors when they join the Medicare program. Older adults are able to get an annual wellness checkup.
“Lifetime limits are on their way out,” she said.
Also new is the provision that there are no out-of-pocket expenses for preventive medicine and immunizations.
While the bill provides for immediate coverage of children up to age 26, Ohio law goes the federal guidelines one better.
“In Ohio, children up to the age of 28 are covered, and they don’t even have to live with their parents,” Bingman said.
She said the complexities of the 1,000-page law may be hard to understand, but to observe the first anniversary of the signing, insurers are required to make available a flyer about the act in simple terms people can understand. It is to be available from insurers by March 23, the same day UHCAN Ohio is planning to issue a report on how well this new law is doing.
WAC has two public meetings coming up. The first will be Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. at the meeting room of the Westland Area Library where Maureen Lorenz of Columbus Recreation and Parks will discuss plans for a Westland park. The second is WAC’s next meeting March 16 at 7 p.m. at Doctors Hospital when Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo will talk about services his office offers. WAC’s new meeting room is on the second floor of the new addition to Doctors Hospital, in the portion of the building marked 5125/5135.
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