The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) casually referred to, as Obamacare is a national statute and plan introduced with the intention of reforming the American Healthcare system. The new health care law, which was signed into law on March 2010, seeks to introduce a raft of regulatory measures that will realize a better quality of health care in America mainly by concentrating on making health insurance affordable and thus accessible to more Americans. With the health insurance industry regulated and Americans get better benefits through buying regulated and subsidized insurance pertaining to health care, the overall spending on insurance in the US is expected to come down. The Federal government will, through this plan, offer a Marketplace, an online platform, where its citizens will purchase the regulated and subsidized insurance.
The law also demands that all insurance companies cover all applicants who meet the required criteria for coverage without any form of discrimination. The insurance companies are also to offer the same rates across the board, for applicants of the same age and geographical location, in this way increasing competition, thus focusing more on quality than quantity ultimately streamlining the health care industry. With the main areas of focus of this health insurance plan being to improve quality and affordability in the health sector, there are certain things one needs to know about the new American Healthcare law.
The main goal of this new health care law is to reduce the previously rising costs of health care in the US by ensuring increased access to affordable but quality health insurance. It seeks to achieve this through various reforms such as insurance exchanges, taxes, subsidies, consumer protection among other reforms.
Obamacare, with the kind of regulations it seeks to introduce in the health insurance industry will see to it that some previously unacceptable practices in the sector, which were mainly done for profit are done away with in a streamlined sector. In this light, it should be understood that the law regulates health insurance and not health care. Some of these unacceptable practices include insurance companies abandoning their policyholders when they fall sick, making arbitrary increases in the rates to be paid for different covers taken and insurance companies not taking into account genuine mistakes that may have been done by their clients during their process of applying for cover.
Insurance, whose rate of premium should be the uniform for all of the same age and geographical location, should not vary in such a case on grounds of gender or pre-existing conditions (except where specified in the law). The said healthcare cover should not be denied anyone wishing to apply and an irreducible minimum standard of quality for the policies for health care have been set out in the health care law. This works to ensure that quality is at all times given priority while bringing on board more Americans to the scheme.
The health insurance regulatory framework provides a number of previously non-existent benefits, new rights, and protections that guard against unscrupulous players in the insurance industry. Some of these said benefits are dealing with gender discrimination when taking healthcare cover, bringing down the cost of health care insurance previously incurred by individual citizens, increased coverage to more and more American citizens and allowing young adults to stay on their plan until they have reached the age of twenty-six.
The famous Obamacare carries with it a compulsory individual responsibility to all citizens. Any individual not covered by private insurance, which includes any employer, sponsored health plan or other public insurance schemes will have to secure a private policy recognized by the Federal government or else pay a penalty. This, however, has exceptions, for instance, where one is facing financial hardships, in which case the government will subsidize their payments.
The new health care also has an employer mandate. This simply means that in case the government offers subsidies by any means to a full time employee’s health care, then the business that has employed such an employee will have to pay a penalty. This, however, only applies in the case where such a business has 50 or more employees and has not arranged for health care insurance for their full-time employees.
The law further requires that all non-grandfathered insurance plans should include certain services referred to as preventive services and essential benefits. Some specified essential health services must be included with no lifetime or annual limits. It is mandatory to include preventive services at no out-of-pocket costs.
With the enforcement of Obamacare, the number of doctors will be greatly reduced by most of the insurance companies in the exchange. In an effort by the insurance cover providers to keep costs down, they will introduce ceilings to the number of hospitals in the networks. With the policies having a narrow array of options to choose from, it will force policy shoppers to confirm that the doctors and hospitals they want are in the cover they want to purchase.
The health care law has provisions for low-income earners in the country. If one makes less than $ 200,000 as an individual or less than $ 250,000 as a family, then in such a situation they will be spared from the majority of the taxes that Obamacare levies. This is in an effort to increase coverage and also avoid exclusion of low-income families and individuals.
Insurance relating to health care in the US is compulsory under the new health care law, but one does not necessarily have to sign up for government health insurance. For those who are legally citizens of America and remain uninsured will be charged, it will be important that one has some form of health insurance; whether under private insurance plans or public insurance plans.
There are a number of benefits that accrue to American citizens with the enactment of this new health care law. The improvement of quality and reduction of health care costs and their advantages cannot be gainsaid. Moreover, the result anticipated is an effective and streamlined healthcare sector. With the information above about Obamacare, one can reach an informed decision or point of view on the new law and decide where they stand with regards to the new health care law.