One-Pager|Economy   2 Minute Read

14 Things You Might Not Know About Obamacare

Published March 1, 2017

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The Affordable Care Act improves health care coverage for nearly all Americans, but did you know it also has these benefits? 

  1. Ensures that nursing mothers get break times at work and a private place other than a bathroom to use a breast pump.1 It also provides coverage for a breast pump without a copay or deductible.2
  2. Requires insurers to give women direct access to OB/GYN physicians without a referral from a primary care provider.3
  3. Provides coverage for services not previously covered for people with autism, like speech therapy for a child who hasn’t learned to talk.4  
  4. Requires members of Congress to get the same coverage through the same insurance exchanges as other Americans.5
  5. Reduces job lock, which keeps employees with health care problems from switching jobs.6
  6. Gives employees information about the cost of their health care benefits on their annual W-2 from their employer.7
  7. Creates a federal standard for essential health benefits and constrains states from mandating more costly benefits by requiring them to pay for the extra cost.8
  8. Covers opiate addiction with comprehensive services ranging from addiction treatment and anti-craving medication, to family counseling and home health visits.9 It also ends addiction as a pre-existing condition for purchasing health insurance.10
  9. Prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums or discriminating against gun owners just as it does for people with pre-existing conditions.11
  10. Creates pharmaceutical marketing oversight through a single, nationwide system of disclosure of gifts and other payments to providers and replaces the patchwork of conflicting state laws.12
  11. Requires fast food restaurants to display calories on menus so consumers have more information to make their individual choices.13
  12. Gives seniors free preventive care services through Medicare.14
  13. Provides black lung benefits through disability insurance by ending coverage disputes between miners and mine companies.15
  14. Provides Medicare coverage to victims of airborne asbestos fibers from mines in Libby, Montana.16
  1. United States, Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, “Break Time for Nursing Mothers.” Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/.  

  2. United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Health Benefits & Coverage: Breastfeeding Benefits.” Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/breast-feeding-benefits/.

  3. United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Health Insurance Rights & Protections: Doctor Choice & Emergency Room Access.” Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/doctor-choice-emergency-room-access/.

  4. Julie Appleby and Mary Agnes Carey, “Six Lesser-Known Obamacare Provisions that Could Evaporate,” January 11, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/11/509310734/6-obamacare-provisions-that-could-evaporate.

  5. United States, Congress, Congressional Research Service, Ada S. Cornell, “Health Benefits for Members of Congress and Designated Congressional Staff,” January 13, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://bit.ly/2lN1KMs.

  6. Nicholas Bagley and Austin Frakt, “Job lock: What the ACA Does,” Blog, The Incidental Economist, April 1, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/job-lock-what-the-aca-does/. See also Purva Rawal, “The Affordable Care Act Examining the Facts,”  ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, 2016, Q.24, Kindle Edition.  

  7. United States, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, “Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage,” November 2, 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/form-w-2-reporting-of-employer-sponsored-health-coverage.

  8. “State Insurance Mandates and the ACA Essential Benefits Provisions,” National Conference of State Legislatures, August 30, 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-ins-mandates-and-aca-essential-benefits.aspx#intended.

  9. Katharine Q. Seelye and Abby Goodnough, “Addiction Treatment Grew Under Health Law. Now What?” The New York Times, February 10, 2017.  Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/health/addiction-treatment-opiods-aca-obamacare.html?emc=edit_th_20170211&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=71461014&_r=0.

  10. Gary Claxton, Cynthia Cox, Anthony Damico, Larry Levitt, and Karen Pollitz, “Pre-existing Conditions and Medical Underwriting in the Individual Insurance Market Prior to the ACA,” Kaiser Family Foundation, December 12, 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/pre-existing-conditions-and-medical-underwriting-in-the-individual-insurance-market-prior-to-the-aca/.

  11. 42 USC Sec. 300gg–17, 2015. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title42/USCODE-2011-title42-chap6A-subchapXXV-partA-subpartii-sec300gg-17.

  12. United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Open Payments.” Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/openpayments/.

  13. Julie Appleby and Mary Agnes Carey, “Six Lesser-Known Obamacare Provisions that Could Evaporate,” January 11, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/11/509310734/6-obamacare-provisions-that-could-evaporate.

  14. United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Over 40 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Utilized Free Preventive Services in 2016,” January 19, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2017-01-19-eNews.html#_Toc472501429

  15. Kara Lofton, “ACA Repeal Threatens A Black Lung Provision Popular In Coal Country,” West Virginia Public Broadcasting, January 26, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: http://khn.org/news/aca-repeal-threatens-a-black-lung-provision-popular-in-coal-country/.

  16. United States, Social Security Administration, “Libby, Montana.”  Accessed February 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.ssa.gov/libby/.

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