by Félix Pérez/photo courtesy of webstockpro.com
The number of uninsured children and young adults dropped by more than 800,000 last year. And American families and individuals saved $2.1 billion on their health insurance premiums since September 2011.
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The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama into law in 2010, prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition. Before the health reform law, tens of thousands of families were denied insurance each year for their children because of an illness or pre-existing condition. The law also requires that health insurance companies allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ policy.
The health care law is holding insurance companies accountable and saving billions of dollars for families across the country, said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
The more than $2 billion consumer savings in premiums is a result of two factors:
- The “80/20 rule,” which requires health insurance companies to spend no more than 20 percent of premium dollars on salaries, bonuses, marketing, advertising and administrative costs. If insurers do not spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care services and improvements, they must refund consumers the difference. Families and individuals receiving a refund will pocket an average of $151 per household.
- Rate review standards, which require insurance companies, on a state-by-state basis, to submit for public review any request for rate increases of 10 percent or more.
“Thanks to the law, our health care system is more transparent and more competitive, and that’s saving Americans real money,” said Sebelius.