Surprises From Health Insurance Reform

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Recent polls are revealing that many Americans do not understand the premises of health insurance reform or the impact that it is going to have throughout the country and within their lives. While the plans are still developing for the first public health insurance exchanges in October, few people are beginning to get the true understanding of how the health care reform is going to affect everyone. Health economist and senior fellow at the Urban Institute, Linda Blumberg provided her insight into the the reality of the situation. "No single law can solve all problems. We have to take things one step at a time and know that this is going to be a continuing process of trying to reform a system that has flaws, with markets that aren't now and never have been competitive, and evolve to (a) more efficient provision of high-quality care."

During 2009, Obama had claimed that if people liked their current health care plan, they would be able to keep it. However, some insurers are now contacting policyholders and telling them that their health plan is being discontinued. Insurers are working towards phasing out some of these plans and are aiming to replace them with other plans that are designed to meet the federal regulations and standards based on the health care reform. To some extent, people can still keep their policy; there is language in the law that would allow for existing health plans to be grandfathered in, which would exempt them from the new requirements that are being provided by the form. However, most experts feel that once you’ve been offered higher quality coverage for less, there would really be no reason for you to maintain your current health plan.

Some large companies that have a lot of workers that are low income and uninsured are looking into the option of offering a very bare form of coverage. This would be done to try to avoid the $2000 to $3000 penalty for failing to offer the correct form of coverage for employees. The employer mandate was supposed to take effect during January 1st, but now it has been moved to some unknown date in 2015. Incorporating this form of bare coverage would likely not be able to provide coverage for x-rays, maternity care, surgery, or many other cost cutting options that the large companies are trying to explore in order to avoid the additional costs of health care reform.

A lot of young people may be able to benefit from the use of Obamacare. Although many people don’t realize it, a significant amount of the uninsured are actually young people. This is because a substantial percentage of young people work low paying jobs; they essentially must use the salary that they earn for paying their rent, bills, and other responsibilities. Some choose between being able to afford rent or food and being able to have insurance. For those who are struggling to deal with debt from college and student loans, many young people avoid becoming insured because they don’t want to have to pay another bill every month, making Obamacare a great option for them.