Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ObamaCare and Texans after one year

None of this matters for those who don't care about others.

In the Medicare program, there is a gap when someone uses up the initial amount the program will pay for prescription drugs and before they hit the catastrophic coverage. That area of out-of-pocket expenses is often called the “donut hole.” More than 221,121 Texas residents who hit the donut hole received $250 tax-free rebates and will receive a 50 percent brand-name prescription drug discount. The White House estimates the hole will be closed completely by 2020.

There are 2.8 million Texans on Medicare. They are all eligible now for free preventive services and yearly wellness visits from a doctor.

Most insurance companies must cover children with pre-existing conditions now. This means an estimated 1.6 million children who might have been denied before will be covered.

Speaking of kids, if the economy — or the future unknown — has left your offspring unemployed, parents may keep their children on their plans until age 26. That’s about 149,000 Texas young adults.

Small businesses who now face insuring their employees can get tax credits. There is $40 billion in tax credits set aside for up to 4 million small businesses for providing insurance for employees and making premiums affordable. That could mean almost 300,000 in Texas.

About 12 million Texas residents have private insurance. The law keeps insurance companies from dropping or capping insurance plans unexpectedly and from imposing lifetime limits that pose problems for people with chronic diseases, such as cancer or HIV.

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