Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, talks about the key benefits of the new act going into effect today.
President Barack Obama's senior advisor shares four key benefits to the Affordable Care Act now in effect.
1. Insurance for the uninsured. Beginning October 1, the new health insurance marketplace will open for enrollment across the country, giving Americans a new way to shop for health care plans. This means that 6.8 million uninsured African-Americans can sign up for health care options that may lower their costs, Jarrett says.
2. Access to more affordable health care services. For too long, women have gone without services such as mammograms, contraception and HIV testing, because of high out-of-pocket costs or lack of insurance. By eliminating barriers like copays, coinsurance and deductibles, the ACA is already allowing women, especially African-American women, to have secure and affordable health coverage, says Jarrett.
3. Extended coverage for your college-age kids. From a personal perspective, Jarrett knows the value of young people being able to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. "I remember when my daughter finished school and before she found a job, she was able to stay on my health insurance plan," she says.
4. Elimination of penalties for preexisting conditions. Children and adults with preexisting conditions can now get affordable private insurance. There's also the advantage of prescription drug coverage and benefits. "This is a big deal for our seniors," says Jarrett, recalling instances in which women with limited income would cut their prescriptions in half so they would last longer. Jarrett says this act makes it easier for women to keep themselves in good health through preventive treatment.