On March 6, 2017, the proposed new legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was published and was named the American Health Care Act.
Key provisions include:
- A refundable tax credit to help buy insurance for individuals, that phases out for people making more than $75,000 ($150,000 for a couple filing jointly). The credit starts at $2,000 per person and grows to $4,000 with age. A family can get as much as $14,000 in total.
- Ends immediately a requirement that individuals have insurance coverage and a second rule requiring some businesses to offer coverage to their workers.
- Expands the allowable size of health-care savings accounts that are coupled with high-deductible insurance plans – NTE $6,550 for an individual or $13,100 for a family.
- Eliminates ACA Medicaid expansion; replaces with a per-capita system, where states are given a set amount for the number of people in categories such as disabled, elderly, childless adults and pregnant mothers.
- Allows people with pre-existing conditions to buy insurance, but requires “continuous” coverage to discourage them from buying it only when they get sick. Individuals who go uninsured for longer than a set period will be penalized with 30 percent higher premiums.
- Provides states a $100B fund over ten years to assist low-income people to afford insurance, and also stabilize state insurance markets. The fund will also help lower patient out-of-pocket costs and encourage access to preventive services.
- Will delay until 2025, a tax on high-cost health insurance plans.
The original ACA brought coverage to an estimated 20 million Americans. House Speaker Paul Ryan said "the plan is designed to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance.”
Now the proposed bill will move to the Congressional vote.
Watch this blog for continued updates on the American Health Care Act. Click for USA.gov site.