The State of Our Healthcare

There has been a great deal of news regarding recent attempts to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or as it’s more commonly known, Obamacare. In May of 2017, a new version of the bill was passed in the House of Representatives and will make its way to the Senate for final approval. Americans are now left wondering how this new bill will affect them and their insurance plans. Below are some of the key details you need to know if the bill does in fact pass in the Senate.

– The new bill will not completely replace the Affordable Care Act. Its goal is to only replace parts of the ACA that have large financial impacts.
 
– The current Affordable Care Act requires that every person purchase insurance. If an individual does not maintain coverage, they are required to pay a penalty each year on their taxes. The new bill would eliminate the requirement to purchase insurance and the annual penalty. If a person does not want to maintain coverage, that is fine. However, if they decide to purchase coverage at a later date in time, they will be charged a 30% surcharge for the first year they reestablish coverage.
 
– The Affordable Care Act currently gives large subsidies to low income families in order to purchase insurance on the marketplaces that have been set up. These marketplaces are available for individuals who cannot obtain affordable health care coverage through their employers. At this point, the subsidies are to be used exclusively in the marketplaces. The new bill would allow individuals to use the subsidies outside of the current marketplaces, which creates a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not the marketplace will be able to sustain itself.
 
– One significant difference in the two health care plans is the way pre-existing conditions will be approached. The current ACA does not allow insurers to deny coverage to anyone who has a condition that was diagnosed prior to seeking coverage on their plan. In addition to this, individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged a higher premium regardless of if the insurance is purchased on the marketplace or through an employer. A recently proposed addendum to the Affordable Care Act would allow insurers to apply for a waiver through the Health and Human Services Department that would allow them to charge higher premiums based on a pre-existing condition.

Whether you currently purchase your health coverage through your employer or the marketplace, it appears that everyone is likely to be affected by the changes in the new health care plan. Despite the method in which you purchase your health care plan, it would be well worth your time to continue researching this topic to see which changes may affect you personally. We will do our best to keep you up to date with all the current happenings as they unfold.