6 lesser-known ACA provisions that would unravel with repeal

As congressional Republicans come closer to making good on their vow to repeal the ACA, millions of Americans have indicated a more favorable view of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law and many are worried about losing its insurance benefits, such as the provisions that guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26. But if the ACA is cut down, numerous other, lesser-known provisions will go away, too, according to Kaiser Health News.

Some provisions — many of which people don't even associate with the health law — have evaded the discourse and debate around the ACA and have garnered broad public support.

Here are six ACA provisions that could disappear if the law is repealed, according to Kaiser Health News.

1. Calorie counts at restaurants. Under the ACA, most restaurants and fast food chains that have at least 20 stores are required to post calorie counts of their food options. Although some criticized this rule, the food industry generally accepted it because posting calorie counts was seen as easier than other measures, such as imposing taxes on sugary foods or beverages. However, whether or not knowledge of calories will deter people from choosing unhealthy options is still unknown, according to the report.

2. Required breaks for breastfeeding mothers at work. The ACA requires employers to provide women who are breastfeeding with breaks during the work day to express milk for up to a year after giving birth. The rules stipulate that women must have access to a private room to do so, other than a bathroom, according to the report. Additionally, most health plans must offer breastfeeding support and tools, such as breast pumps, without out-of-pocket expenses for the mother.

3. Limits on surprise costs from hospital emergency room trips. All health plans must charge consumers the same co-payments or co-insurance for out-of-network emergency care that they charge for in-network emergency care. The ACA also requires all nonprofit hospitals to publish online a written financial assistance policy that clearly details whether it offers free or discounted care, as well as eligibility requirements. Hospitals must charge lower rates to patients who are eligible for their financial assistance programs, according to the report.

4. Community health assessments for nonprofit hospitals. The ACA requires nonprofit hospitals to conduct community health needs assessments every three years to demonstrate how they positively affect the health of the community and justify the billions of dollars in tax exemptions they receive, according to the report.

5. Ability for women to choose their own OB/GYN. Under the ACA, most insurance plans must allow women to select an obstetrician/gynecologist without a referral from their primary care physician. Although most states already enforced this, those laws did not apply to self-insured plans, which are commonly offered by large employers. The ACA extended these provisions to all new health plans, according to the report.

6. Coverage assurances for children with autism and people with degenerative diseases. The ACA requires insurers to cover treatment for children with autism, such as speech therapy, and rehabilitation therapies, such as walking and talking again after a stroke.

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