By Julian Pecquet - 03/21/11 12:30 PM EDT
The consumer health advocacy group Families USA released a state-by-state analysis Monday of the healthcare reform's benefits to kick off a week of events marking the law's first anniversary.
The "fact sheet" looks at five categories of beneficiaries who are already seeing the law's impact and provides state-by-state statistics.
Young people who can stay on family coverage until age 26: More than 3.4 million previously uninsured young adults nationwide are eligible.
Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug plans: Some 3.2 million people received $250 Part D "doughnut hole" checks last year.
Medicare beneficiaries: The 46 million people on Medicare no longer have co-pays for certain preventive services and can get an annual wellness visit for free.
Children with pre-existing conditions: Insurers can no longer deny coverage for the 5 million children in the U.S. who have a pre-existing condition (however plans in several states have stopped offering new child-only policies as a result).
Small businesses: More than 4 million small businesses nationwide are eligible for tax credits to help cover as much as 35 percent of employees' coverage costs if they have fewer than 25 employees and an average wage of less than $50,000.
"As we mark the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, many millions of people already have much to celebrate," Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said in a statement. "Even though the largest health care improvements will be implemented in the future, huge numbers of seniors, young adults, children and small businesses have already received key pocketbook protections."