Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Betty Boyd, and Representative Beth McCann are hosting a Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, August 4th at 9:15 a.m. at the Bear Valley Branch Library at 5171 W. Dartmouth to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court decision on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) earlier this summer. All three legislators serve on the Health Benefits Exchange Review Committee, and they will offer an update on the Exchange’s progress.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help working families afford health insurance and allow Colorado to expand its safety net for those living in poverty,” Senator Aguilar said following the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Colorado can move forward on its work on the Exchange without further delays and diversions. The Supreme Court’s decision and the full implementation of the law will help our economic recovery tremendously.”
More than half of the 829,000 Coloradans without health insurance will gain significant benefits as the PPACA takes effect in a series of steps. The PPACA offers Coloradans security in their health care that they have never experienced before, prohibiting insurance companies from dropping those who get sick, using annual or lifetime limits to bill people into bankruptcy, or discriminating against individuals with a pre-existing conditions.
As the deployment of the law continues in the coming years, Coloradans gain the added security of knowing they won’t lose health insurance coverage if they lose or change their job. The PPACA adds an important component in ensuring that preventative care is covered by insurance companies, and the law makes a notable investment in state and community-based efforts that promote public health, prevent disease, and protect against public health emergencies.
Among highlights affecting Coloradans are the following:
- In its first year, the PPACA gave 43,997 young adults under the age of 26 insurance through their family’s coverage if they aren’t already covered by job-based insurance.
- The PPACA filled the prescription drug donut hole, giving 42,580 Coloradans a $250 rebate to cover the cost of prescription drugs. Coloradans with Medicare are now receiving a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs, resulting in an average savings of $579 per person and a total savings of $22,846,993.
- Last year, the PPACA covered 382,143 Coloradans with Medicare for free preventative services, including mammograms and colonoscopies. 973,000 Coloradans gained preventative service coverage with no cost-sharing.
- The 1,432,000 Coloradans with private insurance coverage are seeing their care improve with the implementation of the 80/20 rule, ensuring that 80 percent of premium dollars are spent on health care quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries, or marketing.
- Colorado has received $492,000 to support Aging and Disability Resource Centers, helping seniors, people with disabilities, and their families understand and evaluate their long-term care options.
- Colorad0 has received $4.2 million for maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs, bringing health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect them to valuable resources.
Senator Aguilar has been a primary care physician at Denver Health for 23 years.