A document on the immediate benefits available is found here. Major portions of the act do not go into effect until 2014, but in the mean time, there are many benefits that are already in place or will be soon:
- Elimination of lifetime benefits caps (beginning September 23, 2010)
- Prohibition against rescinding coverage when someone gets sick (beginning September 23, 2010)
- Prohibition against denying children coverage for pre-existing conditions (July 1, 2010)
- Requirement that young adults be permitted to stay on their parents' insurance policies until age 26 (beginning September 23, 2010)
In the long run, this would probably save money for the mental health system by bringing people in early for services and avoiding expensive hospitalizations. Every $1 the state spends on Medicaid will bring in about $3 of federal matching funds and could keep the system from collapsing under the burden of huge state deficits. Not only does money spent on health care expand jobs and improve the economy, but it relieves the pressure on the mental health system and frees up money for other much-needed services.
Check out these important resources to see if you or your family member can benefit from health care reform now.