Affordable Healthcare Essay

Words: 616
Pages: 3

The Affordable Care Act, in general, allows insurance coverage to be available to all Americans. Insurance companies do not, or soon will not, have as much control over health care as they once did. Insurance companies can no longer cancel coverage or deny coverage based upon an individual's pre-existing condition. Another change that the Act allows is that preventative care (such as mammograms) will remain free of charge through an individual's insurance plan. Mediare Part D will also remain in effect, allowing millions of seniors with Medicare to have the choice of including prescription coverage under Medicare, which was not previously available through Medicare coverage. The act also includes the clause that young adults can remain on their parents' insurance plan through the age of 26. Aside from Medicare, the Act provides small businesses tax credits to offer insurance coverage to their employees. Insurance plans are extremely costly for small businesses to afford, partly due to the limited number of employees. Insurance companies offer a break on premiums to larger corporations largely due to the number of employees covered. The Act will offer also offer tax cuts to those individuals that cannot afford insurance, in order to hopefully aid in healthcare costs.
Mental health is an area of health care that has been largely ignored in terms of its coverage by insurance plans. However, in 1996 Congress passed the Mental Health Parity Act that attempted to address the disparity between mental health and physical health coverage. The Act aimed to provide coverage for mental health services without annual or lifetime monetary limits that were different from the monetary limit placed on medical or surgical services under a group health plan. “For example, if a health plan provided a one million dollar lifetime limit for medical and surgical benefits, it must provide a one million dollar lifetime limit for mental health benefits.” (Hamline) “This Act was a response to an attempt by health insurance providers to decrease costs associated with providing treatment for mental illnesses by placing restrictions and limitations on benefits for mental illnesses that did not apply to physical illnesses.” (Noel ) However, disparities still remained. Insurers were still able to find loopholes in the legislation to differentiate mental health coverage and remain limiting access to care. "Although recognition and treatment of mental health disorders have become integrated into routine medical care, inequities remain in terms of limits on the number of visits a health insurance plan