The Affordable Care health insurance landscape may look completely different in 2017. It is highly unlikely that any material changes will happen for the 2017 coverage year (for which Open Enrollment is taking place now.) But there will be changes and we don’t know yet how or when they will take place.
What Might Be Changing:
ObamaCare made health insurance mandatory, tried to provide financial relief to low-income Americans who were now forced to buy it, and added in some much-needed consumer protections. All three may change.
Repealing the individual mandate means that health insurance isn’t required; without a large number of healthy people paying into the risk pool, either by buying their own insurance or paying the mandate, insurability for individuals with preexisting conditions becomes fiscally unfeasible. Under Trump’s suggested plan we’d return to medically-underwritten discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, meaning that tens of millions of people end up right where they started before ObamaCare: uninsured and unprotected.
What Could Happen:
From a cost perspective, the new administration wants to make insurance more affordable through different means. First by allowing the full deduction of health insurance premiums from taxes. That means that even if you aren’t getting a tax credit, you can still combat costs with a sizeable tax deduction. (Many argue that this is a greater benefit to upper class citizens who are more likely to claim deductions on their taxes.)
Also by expanding the availability of health savings accounts (HSAs) which is a way to pay for qualified medical expenses with pre-tax money, thereby allowing for an offset of healthcare spending via tax savings.
Finally, to combat high drug prices, allow “entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.” This will essentially open the import of medicine from overseas, ostensibly at a cheaper price than what American pharmaceutical companies offer.
Each of those points will definitely impact how a consumer pays for their health insurance, although the ultimate savings or costs are unknown.
One additional option would allow insurers to sell across state lines. The present law enforces individual states Healthcare.gov and state exchanges. Possible options would allow insurers to sell across state lines, prices will drop thanks to increased competition. Would removing this regulation help lower cost? It’s hard to say, because we don’t really know if any insurer will actually want to try.
One thing is certain … there will be changes in ObamaCare . TelePay will follow these developments and provide you with the ongoing updates and regulations as they unfold. Whichever direction this significant benefit turns, there will be a plan to cover Americans health insurance.