Free Preventative Care Offered Under New Law

Updated: Wednesday, September 18 2013, 10:58 PM CDT
Free Preventative Care Offered Under New Law  story image
By: Grace White
Follow Grace on Twitter @Grace__White & on Facebook

Getting help before you get sick.

President Obama sold preventative care as one of the biggest parts of the new Affordable Care Act.

So, how will that change the care you get from your doctor?

Tonight, we're continuing our special special series of reports were calling "Insuring Texas' Future."

For 10-year-old Anica Castillo, managing diabetes is part of her everyday routine.

"Getting shots, not eating what I want to eat," said Castillo.

Like many other Latino families, diabetes is no stranger.

"Type 2 diabetes runs heavily in my family," said Armida Castillo, Anica's mother.

Her father, grandfather, uncle and brother-in-law all have been diagnosed.

"San Antonio has a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes and a lot of the people who live here don't know they are living with the disease," said the mom.

"In the Hispanic community we tend to be a little stubborn about going to the doctor," said Raul Castillo, Anica's father.

The Affordable Care Act is designed to change that by offering free preventative care, like diabetes screenings.

You also can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and there's no lifetime limit on how much insurance companies pay out.

"I think it's a huge difference," said Deirdre Murphy, volunteer for the American Diabetes Association.

In Bexar County, the number of people living with the disease is twice the national average.

"Your going to see a lot of people who have not been under medical care now be able to be under a physician's care," said Murphy.

"That may be slowcoming," said U.T.S.A. Professor Dana Forgione.

He says there's a way of thinking that has to change.

"When I get sick and I go to the emergency room and they take care of me and that has to change to get people to understand they can now go to a primary care doctor and get preventative care," said Forgione.

"I think free preventative care will get people to their doctors to get them checked so that way if they do have the disease they can start taking care of themselves," said Armida.

Learning to manage the disease is what's made a difference in this 10-year-old's life.

"Some people don't know they have diabetes or they know and they just don't want to go to the doctor and hear it, so I think it's great to tell them it's a great life to have type one diabetes," said Anica.

She's now a youth ambassador who encourages others to take control of their diabetes and not let diabetes control them.

Next Wednesday we'll explore how healthcare reform is affecting small businesses here in San Antonio.

In the meantime, you can find more information about the new laws under a special part of our website called Insuring Texas' Future.Free Preventative Care Offered Under New Law
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October 1, 2013

1. Additional Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

2. Under the new law, states will receive two more years of funding to continue coverage for children not eligible for Medicaid.

January 1, 2014

1. The Health Insurance Marketplace is established

2. You must buy coverage or pay a fee to offset costs of caring for uninsured Americans.

3. Medicaid program expands. Federal government to pay 100% of costs for first three years.

4. Tax credits given to people who can't afford care.

5. Ensures coverage for individuals participating in clinical trials

6. Annual limits on insurance coverage eliminated.

7. No discrimination due to pre-existing condition or gender

8. Small business health insurance tax credit increases

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