The Big Picture
New protections, greater freedoms, and lower costs.
Four Talking Points
1. “We have real consumer protections that free us from the worst abuses of insurance companies.”
Example: Children are now protected from being turned down by insurers because of asthma or another pre-existing condition.
Example: Insurance companies will no longer be able to cancel coverage when we get sick because of a paperwork error.
2. “The law demands transparency and accountability from the insurance industry in order to bring down the cost of premiums.”
Example: The law sets rules forcing insurers to justify big increases and to post their justifications on the Web and it strengthens states’ ability to review, revise, or reject unreasonable rate hikes.
Example: The law holds insurers accountable for the way they spend consumer premiums, requiring them to pay out 80-85% of premium dollars on health care and quality improvement efforts rather than on marketing campaigns and executive bonuses.
3. “The law works to lower costs.”
Example: The law provides small businesses owners with tax credits to help make employee coverage more affordable; after years of decline, the number of small businesses offering employee coverage is increasing.
Example: By 2014 individuals and small businesses will be able to pool their purchasing power to bring down their costs through the new state competitive insurance marketplaces created by the law.
Example: The new state competitive insurance marketplace provides information for consumers to easily compare plans, making the insurance industry more competitive. If they want to succeed, insurers will have to provide quality coverage at affordable prices.
Example: The law invests in preventive care and innovative programs aimed at slowing rising costs.
4. “We need to move forward and fix what needs fixing in the law. What we can’t afford to do is take away our new benefits and protections and return to the days when the insurance industry set the rules.”