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Bazelon report highlights ACA progress

March 23, 2012
by Nick Zubko, Associate Editor
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Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law. To mark the occasion, the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law has released a new report that outlines key parts of the law already in effect and its achievements thus far. 

According to the report, titled “The Affordable Care Act at Year Two,” Bazelon Center researchers say the law provides “important insurance consumer protections,” such as prohibitions on pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime limits, and annual limits on certain benefits. 

"In just its first two years, the Affordable Care Act has already improved the lives of countless Americans," stated Chris Koyanagi, policy director for the Bazelon Center. 

The ACA also made important reforms to Medicaid options, including improvements to the section 1915(i) State Plan Option to Provide Home- and Community-Based Services, and the new option to provide health homes for individuals with chronic conditions, including mental illnesses.

Of course, the research also points out that some of the ACA's “most beneficial” reforms won’t take effect for a few years. These include the expansion of Medicaid, the establishment of state health insurance exchanges, and the required coverage of mental health services at parity in the essential health benefits package.  

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Nick Zubko

Associate Editor

Nick Zubko

@BH_Zubko

www.behavioral.net

Nick Zubko is associate editor of Behavioral Healthcare.