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Fate of Lesser-Know Affordable Care Act Benefits Uncertain


Fate of Lesser-Know Affordable Care Act Benefits Uncertain

Fate of Lesser-Known Obamacare Benefits Not Known

Jan. 24, 2017 — As President Donald Trump takes the first steps toward his promised “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act, it’s not clear what benefits — if any — will remain in a new law.

Just hours after taking office last week, Trump signed an executive order directing the Health and Human Services secretary and heads of other federal agencies to use their authority to relieve Americans, businesses, state governments, and others “of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden.”

Details about how this will unfold remain thin, and Republicans have not yet offered a specific replacement plan for the law.

Most people are familiar with some of the more popular parts of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), such as free preventive services and allowing children to stay on their parents’ policies until the age of 26.

But the law also includes many other protections for people who buy coverage on their own. And it bolstered coverage for people with work-based health insurance plans, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Here are eight lesser-known benefits that the Affordable Care Act put into law.

1. Breast Pumping

The law requires employers to offer working moms who breastfeed a reasonable break and private place other than a bathroom where they can pump their milk while at work.

In addition, your health plan must provide coverage for breastfeeding support and counseling, either before or after you give birth, and cover the cost of a breast pump.

2. Menu Labels

If you’re watching your waistline, you may have noticed during the past year that some of your favorite restaurant menu items include calorie information — a requirement of Obamacare that took effect in 2016.

Under the law, meals sold in restaurants and other places that have at least 20 stores that sell ready-to-eat food are required to have their calorie count listed.

Given the nation’s obesity epidemic, “People in the public health world think it is a good idea,” says Mark Hall, director of the Health Law and Policy Program at Wake Forest University.

To date, research hasn’t shown that menu calorie counts have had a major impact on the number of calories people consumed. But Hall says that much like warning labels on cigarette packs, their presence could begin to change societal impressions over time.

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