In his weekending message, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talked about the Affordable Care Act, which was signed by President Obama one year ago. He says it is giving Americans more freedom in their health care choices and improving the quality of care we receive. Vilsack says the new law is building a stronger health system in rural communities, increasing payments to rural health care providers, strengthening Medicare, and training thousands of new primary care doctors who will serve in rural areas.
Under the law, children can no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, a protection that will be extended to all Americans in 2014. Also, insurers are forbidden from using an unintentional error in your application to cancel your coverage. And, if your business has fewer than 25 employees and you provide them with health insurance, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35% of the cost of premiums.
According Vilsack in the last year the law has updated the health care status quo for rural families, who are often forced to choose between a few powerful insurance companies. It helps control unreasonable premium increases and in 2014 it will create state-based health insurance marketplaces to give small business owners and part-time workers more options for more affordable insurance plans.