As the holidays approach, the Obama administration has ramped up its efforts to educate the public on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through press calls, a strong push in social media, and other methods, the Health Department has been dedicated in demystifying the the ACA and encouraging the use of the Health Insurance Marketplace. First Lady Michelle Obama (pictured left) adds to this new push by offering a heartfelt editorial for Babble on the importance of the Affordable Care Act for parents.
Late one night about 12 years ago, our baby daughter Sasha woke up sick. When we took her to our pediatrician the next morning, he took one look at her and sent us straight to the emergency room. He was worried that Sasha might have meningitis – and he was right, wrote the First Lady.
But we were lucky. While our finances weren’t exactly in great shape back then – we were still struggling to pay off our student loans and pay down our mortgage – we had health insurance. So during the three long days Sasha spent in the hospital, our only worry was about her health because we knew the bills would be covered. And fortunately, while her care must have been terribly expensive, it didn’t come anywhere near triggering her lifetime insurance caps.
The emphasis of the piece was the Affordable Care Act’s elimination of insurance cap limits set by companies and the now-illegal practice of denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. In times past before the historic passing of the bill, families struggled to keep up with expensive premiums as a result of health conditions, such as asthma, cancer, or diabetes.
Additionally, the children of these working families remained on their parents’ coverage but eventually faced the looming specter of aging out. As the First Lady notes in her piece, the Affordable Care Act provides many safeguards against the detrimental insurance practices of the past. Now children can remain on their parents’ coverage until the age of 26.
Pre-existing conditions adding to higher costs are now a thing of the past, and there are no longer cap limits on insurance. Uninsured families can now visit HealthCare.gov and choose from a list of affordable plans; they may even qualify for assistance for the monthly premiums. Read First Lady Michelle Obama’s special op-ed here.