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· December 6, 2013

The ACA Will Cover More Women

Earlier this week we looked at the changes in the ACA that will ensure that being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. Today we look at how Medicaid expansion and the tax credits in the ACA will help insure more women. The ACA expands eligibility requirements for Medicaid and improves quality and accessibility of benefits. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, any person or family earning up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level will be eligible for Medicaid.  This means 10 million more women could have access to preventative services, family planning and maternity care, if all states choose to implement Medicaid expansion under the new provisions of the ACA. Previously, these services were not entirely available through the Federal-State plan. Governor Kasich will expand Medicaid to cover 256,000 more women in the upcoming year.  The National Women’s Law Center estimates that Ohio will could save $876 million in uncompensated care costs over the next decade, and bring in $53 billion in federal funding which will help to secure access to quality health services across the state, especially in Ohio’s smaller communities. Women will also have the opportunity to select a health care plan that best suits their needs. Despite some bumps in the roll our, online health insurance exchanges should be available in every state, allowing buyers to compare costs and plans. The ACA gives Federal tax credits to lower-income women who might not be able to afford health insurance under the new plan but who also do not qualify for Medicaid, even with its increased coverage. The lower your income, the more tax credit you are eligible for, which are granted in the form of a discount upon enrollment. The National Women’s Law Center estimates that nearly 240,000 Ohio women will be eligible to benefit from tax credits to lower their insurance costs. There is also a cap on out-of-pocket expenses, which will limit what individuals and families will pay on health care costs. This is especially good news for students and young women who may be early in their careers and earning lower wages, women working part-time, and women who do not receive benefits through their employer or spouse. Overall, the ACA and could result in a 60% drop in the rate of uninsured Ohioans. As Republicans in Washington continue to blast the ACA and block its implementation, perhaps they should be reminded of the positive impact this law has on women.

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