The Supreme Court has ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or more commonly known as “Obamacare” is constitutional. The country took a collective pause for a moment to wonder how this is going to affect them. Will it be socialist medical care like Canada? Will the price of pizza go up as these health care costs are kicked down the chain to consumers? How will CEO’s like the new CEO of Infor , cope with the extra cost of healthcare while maintaining a profit margin?
What parts of the PPACA have already been enacted? The government has quietly been working behind the curtains to streamline the approval process for generic drugs, and has even expanded on Medicare’s drug benefits. A new 10% tax has been assigned to tanning booths. It has also passed several new rules for people with pre-existing conditions to get treatment that could ultimately save their lives. Regarding insurance companies, life limits on coverage, price gouging, and other cost cutting behavior will be illegal.
Over the next few months more and more of these policies will begin to show up in the public eye. Starting this month, new insurance policies cannot charge a co-pay for several different types of preventative care. Treatments like colonoscopies and mammograms will be free for anyone who has opened a new health insurance policy. Later in the year anyone who makes more than $200,000 per year will be levied with an extra .9 percent tax to help fund health care.
Worried about the fact that you will now be forced to buy healthcare or face a fine? This change will not be enacted till 2014. Some say the new changes will not really feel all that different than the current system. If you are working you will still get insurance thru your employer. Your kids will still be covered – now until they are 26, which helps many young adults who cannot always afford health insurance. For older Americans they will still be covered by Medicare, and will find not much has changed from the current system. If they are slightly younger and haven’t gone on Medicare yet and lose their job, they will still qualify for health insurance even with their pre-existing conditions. Which means older Americans can get a lower paying job but still be able to afford blood pressure or other needed medications.
Health insurance exchanges may be mandated by the state (although some states are opting out of the exchange provision) so that if you make more than the average income but are not given insurance by your employer, you can avoid paying the tax, which might be higher than the cost of getting insurance coverage.
We still have much to find out about this health insurance plan. And there could be more changes depending on what happens in the election. It’s to be hoped that a healthier happier country will be the final result.