Several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act that took effect January 1st will benefit individuals over 65, most of whom are women. Medicare recipients no longer have to share costs for preventive care including mammograms, cancer screenings, annual physicals and immunizations. Other provisions will begin to close the so-called “doughnut hole,” or gap between the initial coverage limit and the threshold for receiving catastrophic coverage.
Benefits implemented in 2010 included the elimination of co-pays and deductibles for preventive care in all new private health care plans and the elimination of exclusions for pre-existing conditions for all children. Moreover, in 2010, young people were permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26 unless they have other coverage.
Future benefits will include elimination of exclusions for pre-existing conditions in all private health plans, which will take effect in 2014.
President Obama signed the final version of the Affordable Care Act in March. The final law will eventually add coverage for 32 million people, increasing access to family planning and preventive care.