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Showing posts from March 18, 2012

United States urgently needs the Affordable Care Act

Family Voices Indiana shares this blog post from The Commonwealth Fund...... By Karen Davis The second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act serves as a prime opportunity for reflection on progress in addressing fundamental flaws in the U.S. health system. It’s particularly important to remember why the United States so urgently needs the Affordable Care Act. Just a few facts make it clear that the U.S. cannot afford to continue on the course it took in the first decade of this century: The number of uninsured increased from 37 million in 2000 to 50 million in 2010. Health expenditures increased from $1.4 trillion in 2000 to $2.6 trillion in 2010, and from 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product to 18 percent. 73 million Americans reported problems with medical bills or accumulated medical debt in 2010. Family health insurance premiums increased by 50 percent between 2003 and 2010, contrasted with only a 10 percent increase in median family income. The U.S. ranks l

ACA: We feel relief

The relief my husband and I felt as the ACA was passed was a tremendous lift. I think we quite possible got taller. The stress of adult children with disabilities that were about to be kicked off our employer health insurance was frightening. Adult children unable to attend college that can’t secure employment benefits themselves are now protected at least a little while longer. This gives us a few years to work on a supported plan for independent living. Jan Labas Fort Wayne, IN

ACA: One of the lucky ones......

I want to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of the passing of the ACA. I celebrate it for the HUGE potential it has for my family. And I wish to celebrate the provisions that are already helping us. I'm the mom of two wonderful children, both with disabilities and special health care needs. I celebrate the fabulous joys and gifts they have brought to my life. But let's face it: a HUGE portion of my life is now taken over by dealing with the financing of their health care. It chews up large portions of my time, and it adds enormous stress and guilt to my already highly stressful life. But I'm one of the lucky ones. You see, my husband has a job that brings in a good income. (I used to, before I stopped working to care for my kids – but that's another story.) And we have "good" private insurance. And the ACA is working to ensure the continuity of coverage we so desperately need to remain off of public assistance programs. What does that look like? Well, for us it

ACA: support in the community

I used to think America’s health care system was fine. I was single, with a teaching job, with good benefits. In fact, I wished that I had more money in my pocket as opposed to the health insurance I accessed maybe once a year. That all changed when I became a mother… Despite doing everything right during my pregnancy, my child was born with two rare genetic syndromes. As she struggled to survive, my husband and I struggled to figure out how we were going to meet her long term needs. She was approaching half of our lifetime cap for private insurance before we even got to take her home from the hospital. And when she did come home, we still had out of pocket costs for specialized formula, specialized equipment, etc. Adding to our financial stress was the fact that I needed to quit my job in order to take care of Grace. Fortunately, in her first year of life, a social worker helped us obtain the Aged and Disabled waiver under Indiana’s home and community based services. It allowed

ACA provides coverage for young adults

As my daughter is soon to be graduating out of college she can continue to be on our health insurance plan so as parents we are grateful that no medical issue will be put off because of not being insured. Jan Bullington Zionsville, IN

ACA: We are thankful

Due to the special health care needs of our two small children our family is very thankful for the Affordable Care Act. After the birth of our first child with special needs primary insurance became a great concern. My husband remained at his employer for fear of loosing benefits for our children due to their high cost of medical care. Thankfully due to the Affordable Care Act we now feel more secure knowing we won't be removed from insurance or max out our benefits due to the high cost of medical care for the children. Traci Kurmay Avon, IN

ACA: Makes a difference for our family

The difference that ACA makes to my family is insurmountable. Both of my children have neurological disorders which not only affect their development but their overall health. Because of ACA my husband and I are free to explore career opportunities without having the fear of losing health coverage for our children. Each hospital stay is no longer further complicated and stressed with the fear that this may be the visit that gets us to the lifetime max. We no longer have to ask ourselves "what will we do when they no longer have health coverage?". ACA has given my family a piece of mind that no other recent legislation has been able to give. Heather Dane Indianapolis Indiana

ACA: We are grateful

Our family appreciates the Affordable Care Act as it allows us to keep our son insured until he is able to find full time employment with the benefit of health coverage. Since he has become a father at the young age of 20, he now finds himself working two part time jobs to earn money to support his new family. Prior to the ACA, we would not have been able to continue keeping him on our family plan as he temporarily is out of college. While his goal is to obtain employment with benefits to cover his family, we are grateful that in the meantime he is able to maintain health coverage under our policy. Steve and Jan Viehweg Greenfield, IN

ACA gave us piece of mind.....

Before we had our current health plan, our twenty-year-old daughter was denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. We have great peace of mind now, knowing that she can remain on our insurance until she is 26, if needed. Our current plan, however, is still denying our son autism benefits. They feel they meet the definition of a "grandfathered in" health plan. Kerry Bonney Seymour, IN

The ACA has provided a financial relief to us

In 2009, I was denied insurance coverage based upon a pre-existing condition that I had been diagnosed with 6 years earlier. The condition in no way affected my overall health and was well controlled. In fact, I had learned to successfully manage the condition through homeopathic and other low-cost means and had not submitted a related claim to insurance in several years. The ACA guarantees that I will no longer be denied insurance coverage based on a condition with no known cause or cure. The ACA has helped my family by ensuring we are able to receive preventative care services without paying additional copays. Prior to the ACA, we spent thousands of dollars every year for the “privilege” of being insured when, in reality, all this did was insure a major medical expense would not drive us to bankruptcy. The ACA has provided a financial relief to us knowing that we are receiving services on our premium investments. Our friends learned that their son would be born with hemophi

ACA: Our children’s futures are significantly brighter

Raising a teen and tween, we get to hear lots of dreams and plans as our two children think about their future. Those who know our kids and their life stories might think the remarkable part of that statement is that our children have survived to think about their adult lives. For us the remarkable piece is partly that, but also that the options for their adult lives and our family’s life today are so much brighter than they were just two short years ago. Two years ago today, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), our family’s life and future changed dramatically: • Now that insurers cannot deny policies to children with pre-existing conditions we are no longer job locked and can explore career advancements. In fact, last July I took a full-time job, with benefits. Most people are surprised to learn how happy we are to have the opportunity to pay monthly insurance premiums. The 2014 implementation of the protection for adults with pre-existing conditions mea

ACA Update: Celebrating Two Years of Increased Access to Care

By Emily McKinley, Health Information Specialist March 23 rd marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. On this date two years ago, President Obama signed into law comprehensive health care reform legislation. The law and its provisions have and continue to be implemented in a stepwise approach such that Americans should reap the full benefits by 2014. In general, the ACA provisions are designed to improve the quality and lower costs associated with health care, provide consumer protections, mainly in regard to insurance coverage, and increase access to care, especially among lower income, uninsured and underinsured populations. In 2010, notable consumer protections included eliminating lifetime limits and regulating annual limits on insurance coverage. Annual limits for essential health benefits will be phased out by 2014, protecting the most medically fragile individuals and their families from exorbitant medical costs related to hospital stays, rehabilitative

FAQ regarding waiting list letters sent by DDRS

Family Voices Indiana shares this information from DDRS regarding the waiver waiting list letters that were mailed recently...... To: DDRS Stakeholders From: DDRS Central Office Re: Waiver Wait List Letter FAQ Date: March 19, 2012 The Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) has been working to make some positive changes in its service delivery to consumers. In preparation for these changes, we are making an effort to ensure that our Waiver Wait List is as updated as possible. Last week, consumers whose names are currently listed on the DDRS Medicaid Waiver Wait List received a letter and a Waiver Wait List Status Form from DDRS asking them to: 1. Review and update their contact information (if necessary) on the Waiver Wait List Status Form 2. Indicate their desire to remain on the Waiver Wait List on the Waiver Wait List Status Form 3. Contact their local BDDS office if interested in placement into group homes. A copy of this letter and the Waiver Wait List Status F

Opportunity to ask questions about the ACA/share your story

As we have done in the past, Family Voices Indiana plans to share how the Affordable Care Act has had a positive effect on the lives of families raising children with special health care needs. We’re seeking stories from Hoosier families to share in March, the anniversary of the ACA. We have been featuring information about health care reform each month on our blog . If you would like to share your story, please send it to us before Friday at or leave it on our voice mail at 317 944 8982 and we'll transcribe it. On Friday, March 23rd at 2:00 p.m. EDT, Cecilia Muñoz , Director of the Domestic Policy Council, will answer your questions about the Affordable Care Act. Do you have a question about what the law means for you and your family? Here's how you can join: Ask your question on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat White House officials answers your questions from the @WHLive account whlive Follow the Q&A through the @WHLive Twitter