The primary purpose of this article is to delve into the details of ObamaCare a little deeper in order to gain a better understanding of the goal of this groundbreaking legislation and bring you up to speed on the current and future steps involved in its implementation.
To begin, let’s consider the driving motivation behind the introduction and creation of ObamaCare – the 32 million people in the US without health insurance coverage and the resulting bankruptcy that has become an all-too-common fate for them (healthcare costs are the #1 reason for bankruptcy in our country today).
In 2010, in the hopes of providing affordable healthcare and patient protection and reversing the trend of healthcare-induced bankruptcy, ObamaCare was drafted and approved by Congress and President Obama. This plan was originally designed to be fully implemented within 5 years.
As for the current state of the law, the following Obamacare changes have already been made:
– Parents can add children up to age 26 onto their insurance.
– If any insured becomes chronically ill, they cannot be dropped or have their insurance limited.
– If any child becomes chronically ill, they cannot be denied healthcare.
– Insureds are eligible for free pregnancy or wellness exams with no copay.
– Insurance companies are not permitted to raise premiums without first getting the approval of the state government.
– For companies under 50 employees, if the insurance companies spend more than 20% of premiums on non-medical expenditures, they must pay back any overages to the insured. In other words, 80% of premiums must be used on insureds medical bills (for companies over 50 employees 85% of premiums must be used).
– Any family that has no healthcare because of a pre-exsisting condition will be covered until 2014 by the federal government. After 2014, insurance companies are no longer permitted to deny insurance based on this reason.
– Seniors on Medicare D get free prescriptions without any copay.
– Small business owners with 25 people or less that provide insurance to their workers will receive a tax creditfor 35% of the cost and financial assistance if they offer health care to early retirees between the ages of 55-64.
– Finally, by 2013 Obama Care was to have increased taxes for earners of $200,000 or more.
While the following changes must be completed by the end of 2014:
– Everyone needs to have health insurance by the end of 2014. If they do not, they will be fined 2.5% of their income. If they can’t find health insurance, there will be exchanges developed by the state to assist them.
– Congress will also have to shop on these exchanges.
– Medicaid will be raised to $14,000 per year for individual and $29,000 for a family of four.
– Small businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to offer health care to its employees. If they fail to comply, they will be fined $2,000 for every employee after the first 30.
As for the ultimate fate of this legislation, only time will tell. Regardless, we at LWI are staying on top of these developments as we understand the major expenditure that healthcare represents to our clients. Contact us at 1-866-496-2042 for a free consultation and update on the current state of ObamaCare.