This past week the GOP announced a tentative replacement plan when it comes to the American Health Care Act. While Republican’s promised a new plan to replace Obamacare long ago, we’ve finally been given a glimpse into what the future of healthcare could hold. Unsurprisingly, the new plan has drawn criticism from both sides, with some arguing that it’s too similar to Obamacare, and others arguing that it places a financial burden on a large number of citizens.
New American Health Care Act Details
Preexisting Conditions and Cost Increase
Although we don’t know all the details regarding the new healthcare plan, we do have a rough idea of where it’s headed. For instance, under the House plan, insurers would not be able to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, and they must charge the same premium as they charge those patients without preexisting conditions. What’s more, like the ACA, the bill calls for no lifetime or annual limits on coverage. The bill will also require insurers to increase the price of premiums by 30 percent if consumers allow their coverage to lapse. This could affect many who sign up late for health care or sign up shortly after an injury.
No More Penalties
Those who decide not to enroll in the new American Health Care Act will not be penalized for doing so. Currently, those who are not insured are faced with steep penalties each year, which has been an issue for many. Many view the current “affordable” care as a false moniker.
Few Subsidies For the Private Market
One of the changes that has been met with the most contention has been the plan’s desire to eliminate the majority of subsidies. The measure eliminates the federal premium subsidies for low- and middle-income people, making insurance for many consumers more expensive. The bill would also eliminate the ACA subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses currently available to some people. In place of these subsidies, the government will instead offer tax credits ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 and having a maximum of $14,000 depending on qualification. Many view this tax credits as simply not enough to replace the subsidies and other forms of aid, while others see this as an appropriate alternative to the current plan.
Employer Insurance Changes
Another change that this new American Health Care Act could bring about is a decrease in a number of employers offering insurance. Some large employers would no longer be required to offer health insurance under the House bill. While it’s still unclear how many could lose coverage, it’s still something to keep an eye on, especially if you’re currently on employer-covered insurance.
Surprisingly, despite Planned Parenthood being a polarizing subject both in and out of the White House, this new plan offers little info about any new regulations of changes to the program. However, it is stated that the bill would prohibit federal Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood clinics for one year, starting on the date the bill is enacted.
The truth is, we really don’t know what comes next until the GOP and other government officials unveil the entire plan. Currently, like most current government decisions, there is a massive divide between those who want a complete overhaul of the current health care plan and those who believe that keeping the plan or making minor tweaks is the best option. Either way, make sure to keep an eye out over the next few weeks as the new American Health Care Act begins to take shape.