For today we do. And probably for the rest of this year, anyway. It’s impossible to read any news either in print or online, or watch news on TV, without hearing about a repeal of Obamacare. Repeal, repeal and replace, leave around 18 million people stranded without health care…. it goes on and on.
If you think that because you participate in an employer sponsored plan at a large company you won’t be affected by a Republican overhaul of Obamacare, think again. Several of the Affordable Care Act provisions apply to plans offered by large employers (although there are some exceptions for plans that were in place prior March 2010).
A major focus on any new health insurance program will be on the individual insurance market, where individuals and families are accessing coverage. What happens to these people? What about the individual mandate? Will that stay or go?
One of the key components of Obamacare is the ability to access affordable health care regardless of whether people have pre-existing conditions, which in the past had precluded them from coverage. Although President-elect Trump as indicated that he would be inclined to continue this coverage, it could be in the form of high-risk pools. These state programs were designed to offer health insurance to individuals who weren’t healthy enough to buy policies in the traditional individual markets. Premiums were usually higher than those for healthy people, but this was as a result of state subsidies. These high-risk pools were phased out under Obamacare, and not all states had them. Republicans have proposed bringing them back.
Keeping young adults on their parents’ health plans until age 26 has been given a thumbs up by President-elect Trump. But with no individual mandate, how do we pay for this and other programs?
It’s not clear how President-elect Trump and the congressional Republicans plan the revamping of the existing health care system. Hopefully, they will reveal a plan sooner rather than later so that everyone can get an idea of what our health care system will look like going forward. Until then, all we can do is watch, wait and stay healthy.