As of 2014, Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mandated that Americans with pre-existing conditions could no longer be denied health insurance coverage, charged more because of their pre-existing conditions, or limited in their coverage. Disabled adults fall into this category and have therefor benefitted by having greater access to insurance options. In addition, disabled adults, especially those with low incomes, will still have access to options like Social Security benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid if they are eligible. In other words, Obamacare has granted many benefits to this often-underserved group.
As a disabled adult, you may be unable to work or to reach the earning potential you had prior to disability. In the past, this situation might have limited your access to income and therefor your options where health insurance was concerned. In addition, insurance companies viewed disability as a pre-existing condition, so unless you were able to maintain a policy you had prior to disability, you may have been charged more for coverage or denied altogether. Obamacare has eliminated this possibility, except in rare cases of grandfathered insurance policies. However, this obstacle can be easily overcome by simply dropping your former insurance in favor of coverage under Obamacare.
To learn what benefits you might be eligible for, you need only apply for coverage during the open enrollment period (generally from the beginning of November through the end of January). Your access to affordable health care plans, as well as medical services and support could depend on a number of factors, including your household income, your dependents, your age, and the state you live in. This last factor is important for Medicaid eligibility because the program is supported by both federal and state funding, providing low-cost coverage and services for low-income, elderly, minor, and disabled patients that qualify.
Under Obamacare, states have been given the option to expand Medicaid coverage for residents. Some states have already done so, taking advantage of federal funding to cover the initial cost of expansion, while others are considering expansion and still others seem to have no intention of moving forward with Medicaid expansion. Because of this, qualifications for Medicaid coverage vary from one state to the next, as do the benefits gained through the program.
On the upside, however, affordable health insurance coverage is now a very real option for patients with disabilities and this could have significant positive impact on the lives of those with disabilities, and even on the healthcare system as a whole. For one thing, those with disabilities may now be able to take advantage of affordable coverage that provides for better services than they had access to prior to the passage of healthcare reform. This, in turn, could allow some disabled patients to move away from government-funded coverage like Social Security benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid, which could in turn reduce government spending or provide coverage and services for others in need.
In addition, new access to health services under Obamacare, including preventive care and check-ups, could help disabled patients to qualify for additional care, such as Medicaid (which may require ongoing medical records to confirm disability). Plus, additional and improved care could shorten recovery time for short-term and temporary disabilities. This is all good news for those with disabilities, who now have greater access to insurance coverage, affordable options, and healthcare services than ever before.