ACA is an acronym for the Affordable Care Act, a bill passed into law to address the problems facing American citizens regarding the acquisition of quality medical care. The act has made it possible for millions of Americans to acquire health insurance without employer-sponsored coverage. It has also allowed low-income earning families to get health insurance through Medicaid health care expansion. Nine years since it was passed, the future of the federal statute is unclear. Arguments were brought to the Supreme Court’s attention late this year that would affect the law or put it to an end by mid-2021. Millions of Americans lives are dependent on the ACA to access health services. Medical experts have confirmed that the law has drastically changed mental health conditions among many people.
Most mental illness patients in the United States come from low income earning families. They are the ones who are most affected due to lack of health insurance. Before the bill was passed, close to 50 million Americans had no insurance.
Mental health laws before the ACA are the Mental Health Parity Act that was passed in 1996, and MHPAEA that passed in 2008. It ensured that large employers provided health services for mental health. However, insurers were allowed to access patients’ information on mental health depending on the pan. This would be used to limit coverage, set a limit on medical services, increase cost-sharing, and limit access to medication.
Since the ACA passed into law, millions of American lives have changed. The law has made it possible for many people to get insurance as it takes a different path from former health laws. The coverage allowed young people, 26 years old and below, to get medical coverage in their parent’s plan. The law has had a positive impact on the lives of people with medical conditions.
Research on ACA
ACA has impacted various populations positively, especially mental health patients. A study that was conducted two years ago shows that Medicaid expansion had a direct impact on low income earning adults living with depression. It also showed that [populations living far from mental health resources also benefited from the program.
In 2017, doctors found that people who had a mental health problem had undergone remarkable improvements in their access to quality health care services due to the ACA law. Individuals on Social Security Disability status had initially been hesitant to increase their income because they feared losing their benefits. However, the ACA reform has allowed them to earn more income and sustain health insurance that is not connected to their disability status.
Future of ACA
Without the ACA, several people would lose their health insurance without including those that signed up for the coverage since the pandemic started. The law covers people with underlying medical conditions, including covid-19; hence losing it would affect them adversely. Additionally, there is no guarantee that people that are 26 years old and below will still get covered by their parents’ plan. People from all walks of life have been able to access affordable mental wellness services through digital platforms like Talkspace. The removal of ACA will affect their progress.
The end of ACA might come at the worst time when more than 40 percent of American adults are struggling with mental health problems. Repealing or eliminating the ACA would have detrimental effects on individuals struggling with mental illness, especially during the pandemic.
Companies like Talkspace have invested significantly in improving the lives of people living with mental health issues. The digital platform connects millions of patients with licensed health professionals. Talkspace has grown to become one of the most efficient mental health service providers, as millions of people can access services in the comfort of their homes.