Friday, March 23, 2012

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 means as our children look forward their job options are limitless—a big change for children raised with an ongoing knowledge of how critical access to insurances is for them.

• The removal of annual and lifetime benefit caps for children and adults means that we can manage our household budget without the burden of economic doom constantly looming over us when our children exceeded their annual and lifetime coverage caps. The changes that give our family access to preventative care without co-pays has removed what could often feel like an insurmountable barrier to my husband and me accessing basic health care. Previously our needs were the bottom of the list, and when those needs came with added expenses they didn’t even make the list. Now, we are able to invest in our own preventative care, ensuring that we continue to be able to care for our children.

• The provision that allows young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ plan means that we will be able to maintain coverage for our children as they seek higher education, even if their health requires they to do so as part-time students.

• The concurrent rule for children under Medicaid means that should our children need hospice or palliative care we will not be forced to stop all curative treatments in order to access comfort care, a decision no parent should ever have to make.

For our family and millions like us the ACA means a future where we can meet our children’s medical needs and continue to grow our personal and professional lives. Two years after passage, our children’s futures are significantly brighter.

Rylin Rodgers

Lebanon Indiana

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