As you already know, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act law this morning.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO PEOPLE CURRENTLY INSURED
There are no major changes planned until January 1, 2014 when all health insurance becomes guaranteed issue with no pre-existing conditions. Details still need to be worked out as to how this will work. The changes as a result of the Act that have already been implemented will continue.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY UNINSURED
If you have been uninsured for 6 or more months and cannot qualify for individual or group health insurance, then you can go on the Federal Government’s “Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan – PCIP.” If you have been uninsured for less than 6 months, then the Illinois CHIP plan is available to you (if you live in a different state, I can get you the details about your specific state).
WHAT IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY THE PREMIUMS
In 2014, there will be tax credits to help offset the cost of the premiums. Furthermore, depending upon how the state you live in decides. There “may” be an expansion of Medicaid to help people get the care they need. The Supreme Court left it up to the States to decide whether they wanted to expand Medicaid or not.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO EMPLOYERS PROVIDING HEALTH INSURANCE
There are changes coming in September about a Summary Benefit Coverage document that will need to be created. As far as I understand, if you are on a fully insured plan, the insurance carrier will provide this. If you are considered self insured, you will need to develop one. I have people and resources who can write an SBC.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR PREMIUMS
Premiums will continue to rise, especially since most plans will be forced to cover more items (minimum essential benefits). This naturally leads to higher costs. Come 2014, there may be some relief for individuals and small businesses. The rules for each part of the Act still need to be written to spell out exactly who is eligible, how tax credits/subsidies will work, and where the money comes from.
The Act has about 2700 pages. Most of the Act needs to be defined further in order to be able to implement the law. It is expected that there will be around 200,000 to 300,000 pages of rules written. Until the rules are written for each part, we won’t know specifically how it impacts individuals and businesses.
I just finished an interview with Mike Tobin of Fox News which will most likely air tomorrow morning (if they don’t leave me on the cutting room floor). I will also be live on wbjc AM 1230 (wbjc.com) at 7:10 am talking about the Act. Feel free to listen in.