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Stories of the #ACA: “I can now sleep at night.”

Sara Cederberg, Digital Director

Four years ago this month marks the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and millions of Americans are already seeing the benefits. Al knows we can’t go back to the days when half the bankruptcies in this country were linked to medical bills, people with pre-existing conditions couldn’t get covered, and insurance companies could charge women more than men for insurance coverage. That’s why he is working hard to make sure the law works for the people of Minnesota.

The provisions Al authored are already helping Minnesotans, including the 80/20 rule which requires the insurance companies to spend at least 80% of people’s premiums on actual medical care, not their own profits or perks—and a diabetes prevention program, which works to prevent prediabetes from turning into diabetes through physical education and a nutrition lifestyle program. The Value Index, which Al worked on with his Minnesota colleague Senator Amy Klobuchar, rewards providers who deliver better care based on the quality and value of care they provide—not the quantity—which will help bring down costs and improve outcomes for all consumers.

Team Franken heard from Minnesotans young and old on their personal experiences with the Affordable Care Act—here’s what they had to say:

“I changed jobs in 2011, and lost my insurance. My new employer was much smaller and did not offer health insurance. I checked into getting insurance on my own and found that I would have to pay a nearly $575/month premium and a high deductible because of my age and pre-existing conditions. With MNSure, I found a health care plan that fits my needs, and the premium is only $311 each month and has a reasonable deductible and I’m two years older than I was when I searched for insurance before. I am so grateful for the Affordable Care Act—I can now sleep at night.”

– Tom V, Minneapolis

“My 50 year-old brother Paul is somebody who works hard and doesn’t want a handout. When he was a teenager, he suffered a brain injury that makes it difficult to maintain a full-time job. Despite only earning $18,000/year, he paid for his medical insurance out of pocket—upwards to $500/month, with a $2,000 deductible. When he sat down with a health care navigator, he found out that he was eligible for Medical Assistance with a 100% subsidy that covered his premium. That extra money will be a huge help. He can save money for retirement; he can buy his own clothing and pay for his own car. He’s very excited. And he’s not somebody who will take it for granted.”

– Allison, Brooklyn Park

“$301.24. That’s how much I got back from my insurer in costs that were of no benefit to me. What’s more? The birth control I can now pick up without a co-pay. Now I know that the people I love no longer have to choose between utility bills or a visit to the doctor.”

– Nora A, Eden Prarie

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