Easter Seals Recognizes Two Years of the Affordable Care Act: Celebrates How Law Makes Healthcare Available and Accessible for People with Disabilities

by Katy Beh Neas, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Easter Seals

March 2012 marked the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Easter Seals − the country’s leading provider of services to people living with disabilities − celebrated how this law has made and will continue to make healthcare available and accessible, particularly for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. Access to appropriate and high quality healthcare services is essential for people with disabilities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, three important reforms are now in place. First, children with a pre-existing condition cannot be excluded from insurance coverage, giving families of more than 4 million children the peace of mind that they don’t have to choose between paying the mortgage and buying healthcare for their child with a chronic condition. Second, young adults are now allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until they reach age 26. In 2011, 2.5 million young people gained access to insurance coverage through their parents’ plans. And new in 2011, insurance plans can no longer set lifetime limits of coverage.
Today, some 105 million Americans with disabilities or chronic conditions no longer have to worry whether their insurance will pay for services they may need for the rest of their lives.

These reforms are significant for children and adults with disabilities and their families. It is through these fundamental changes in the healthcare system that we can enable all Americans, including people with disabilities and chronic conditions, to live the lives of their choosing.

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, Easter Seals has offered help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Support children and adults with disabilities at www.easterseals.com.