Healthcare has been a topic of discussion with the majority of the country. Issues with insurance coverage, rising costs, limited options to gain coverage, and the quality of healthcare have become concerns for law makers, healthcare providers and the general public. Some of those concerns were alleviated with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, but new concerns have developed with problems that have occurred in the implementation of the new law. The main concerns of the country are if the Affordable Care Act will be able to overcome the issues that plagued the old healthcare system, the cost of the program, and how will the new law affect the quality of the health delivery system.
In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act in order to bring reform to the current healthcare system. The law was designed to provide healthcare coverage for people that did not have access to healthcare, improve the quality of the types of healthcare provided, and contain costs (HHS, 2014). Some of the features of the law are:
• Protection against losing or acquiring healthcare coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition.
• End of limitations on coverage during a patient’s life time.
• Allows children to be on their parent’s healthcare coverage to the age of twenty-six.
• Preventative care is complimentary to the patient.
• Limits the amount of administrative costs to be passed to the insured.
• Requires healthcare insurance companies to justify rate increases (HHS, 2014).
By addressing some of the negative factors of the current healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act attempts to reform the broken healthcare system.
The Affordable Care Act promises the public access to health coverage. Many of the people who do not have access to healthcare due to poverty, pre-existing medical conditions, or cannot afford the premiums. It is projected that there will be thirty million new patients who will have health insurance through the new law (Ghosh, 2013). The new law pledges to present options to affordable healthcare insurance while providing assistance to those with financial difficulties.
Hospitals will also have a responsibility for providing information to people and the community options to gain access to healthcare coverage. Nonprofit hospitals will be required to provide information on healthcare options, help people determine their eligibility to gain health insurance or assistance to acquire coverage, and provide announcements to visitors, like pamphlets or posters, about healthcare coverage in order to maintain their tax status(Bailey, Tidd, & Cahalan, 2013). Information on these types of services must also be available in the languages dominant in the community, which is determined by the language that is spoken in10% of the residents in the community (Bailey, Tidd, & Cahalan, 2013). Hospitals will help educate the community they serve through providing information on healthcare insurance options.