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What is Obamacare?

One of the main causes of bankruptcy in the United States is the high cost of health care. While American citizens below the poverty line may be eligible for Medicaid, and Senior citizens eligible for Medicare, there are millions of Americans living without health care. For instance, the unemployed, or those employed who make just too much for Medicaid. In addition, there are those who do not receive health insurance from their job, those who are self- employed, and citizens- adults as well as children-with chronic illness, known by the insurance companies as a "preexisting condition," whom too often are denied insurance. Paying their own healthcare is unaffordable, and often people take their chances and do without proper healthcare.

Obamacare, also known as Obama care, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 and was upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.

The main goal of Obamacare is to give more Americans access to affordable health insurance, and in addition, to reduce growth in healthcare spending in the United States.

The provisions of Obamacare include the fact that young adults may stay on the plan until age 26. This alone has helped 3.1 million Americans obtain proper healthcare, according to the White House.

Obamacare also stops insurance companies from dropping you if you become ill or if an honest mistake is made on the healthcare application.

Obamacare prevents against gender discrimination and also prevents insurance companies from hiking up their rates. Thanks to the Obama Care Act’s 80/20 rule, if insurance companies don’t spend atleast 80 percent of your payments on medical care and quality improvements rather than advertising, overhead and bonuses for executives, the companies will have to provide you a rebate. In 2012, 8.5 million Americans received half a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance companies. In Addition, if insurance companies are planning on raising their rates by 10 percent or more, the companies are required to explain, justify, and publicize the reasons. (www.Whitehouse.gov)

Obamacare requires all health insurers to cover adults and children alike, with pre- existing conditions and chronic illness. Regarding children alone, all insurance companies are now being forced to provide health coverage to children with a pre-existing condition like asthma and diabetes. In fact, more than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage thanks to Obamacare. According to Obamacare, as of 2014, no American can be discriminated against due to a pre-existing condition. (www.Whitehouse.gov)

Obamacare does away with life-time and annual limits and gives the opportunity for the rapid appeal of insurance company decisions.

Obamacare has expanded health coverage to tens of millions of American citizens, as it has subsidized health insurance costs. By putting more money into the care and health of the American people, Obamacare has saved billions of dollars in health care and in health insurance.

About the BCBSA

The BCBSA is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® companies. The Association owns and manages the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trademarks and names in more than 170 countries and territories around the world. The Association grants licenses to independent companies to use the trademarks and names in exclusive geographic areas.

The Association also operates several business initiatives in support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and represents the Blue System in national forums.  In this role as a national association, BCBSA is responsible for advancing Blue Cross and Blue Shield interests in legislative and regulatory initiatives in Washington, D.C., as well as coordinating legislative, regulatory and political strategy for the Blue System.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies

Operating and offering healthcare coverage in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the 37 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies cover 100 million Americans.  Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 92% of professional providers contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies — more than any other insurer.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies offer a variety of insurance products to all segments of the population, including large employer groups, small business and individuals.  The Blues® currently serve 85% of Fortune 100 companies and 76% of Fortune 500 companies.  Moreover, the Blues have enrolled more than half of all U.S. federal workers, retirees and their families, making the Federal Employee Program the largest single health plan group in the world.

Blue Facts

  • Thirty-seven independent and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and the BCBSA (BCBSA) comprise the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System, the nation’s oldest and largest family of health benefits companies.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million people — one-third of all Americans — in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies represent the full spectrum of healthcare coverage.
  • Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 91% of professional providers contract directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.
  • The Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies enroll in the Federal Employee Program (FEP) — the largest privately underwritten health insurance contract in the world — more than 5.3 million federal government employees, dependents and retirees. 
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have partnered with the federal government to process Medicare fee-for-service claims and payments since the program’s inception in 1965. 
  • In FY 2011, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare contractors processed 83.2% of the more than 190 million total claims from hospitals and other provider institutions (Part A) and 69.4% of the more than 990 million claims from physicians and other healthcare practitioners (Part B).

To learn more about the history of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and the Association, refer to the graph below.

History of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System

Instructions for Using Timeline:

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  • To reveal an event detail, click on the (+) circle and to close the detail, click on the (X).