Cash rebates are latest new benefit of Obama health care reform law

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One of the most visible impacts of the new Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” will begin showing up in the next few weeks as Missouri and Illinois residents in health care plans begin receiving rebate checks from their insurance company – $120 million that must be paid before August 1.

And millions of women will see a new benefit as well.

Persons with individual plans will receive a rebate check directly; individuals in union health care plans or other group plans will not receive checks directly, the rebates will go back to their health care fund which will help ease the cost to many small and medium sized employers who are under financial stress because of the economy.

For women, beginning August 1, millions will be eligible for free coverage for comprehensive preventive services

A little know provision of the Obama health care act calls for insurance companies to rebate to customers anything over 20 percent they spend for administrative costs, which means the gouging of customers will be dramatically slowed. It’s estimated that 588,000 in Missouri and 300,000 in Illinois will see rebates (some $60 million in each state) averaging $173 in Missouri and $380 in Illinois.

Persons on Medicare and workers at large companies that are self-insured are not eligible for the rebates.

It’s estimated that $1.1 billion in rebates mandated by the new law from health insurance companies will pour into our economy beginning next month to benefit nearly 13 million Americans. The new law says that health insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of their income on actual benefits, not high executive salaries or expensive overhead.

OTHER MAJOR BENEFITS NOW

This new benefit is on top of a number of other key changes in the law that already benefit individuals, seniors and families:

No lifetime limit on coverage for 105 million Americans.

Pre-existing conditions for up to 17 million children will no longer be an excuse for denying health coverage to them, a boon to families everywhere.

Young adults - 6.6 million of them - up to age 26 now have health care because they can stay on their parents’ plan. (Remember before? Once turning 18 or out of college, kids were on their own.)

Preventative care - 86 million Americans, including 32 million seniors in Medicare, have already received free preventive services.

Seniors- 5.3 million seniors have already saved $3.7 billion on their prescription drugs.

New jobs - Since the health care law was enacted in March 2010, 4.2 million private sector jobs have been created – many of them in the health care industry.

Small businesses - The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit has already been used by 360,000 small businesses to help insure two million workers that had no health care coverage.

Debt reduction - The health care law reduces the deficit by $124 billion over the next 10 years and over $1 trillion over the following decade.

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