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Can Health Care Reform Be Implemented? Doubtful.

After a year of 5 proposed major health care bills, markups on these bills, reconciliation and every other possible means by which legislation can be agreed upon and sent to the President, finally there will be a new health care system in the U.S. The bill itself is 2000+ pages and, depending upon the provision, has phase INS beginning in 2010 until 2020. Is it really possible to figure out who benefits from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? In order to figure out when you may benefit from the new health care system (if you, in fact, WILL benefit), you’ll need to look carefully at the effective dates of the provisions.

Medicare beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010 will receive a $250 rebate. The coverage gap itself will be gradually reduced and completely eliminated by 2020. Beginning in 2010, parents will be able to provide children and other dependents coverage until age 26. These are provisions that are relatively easy to implement as they are federally mandated, don’t involve state regulatory approval, and are easy to understand. Medicaid changes, however, are state regulated options, even those to be implemented in 2010.

The 2011 provisions, and those that stretch to 2018 and beyond, are more difficult to implement and understand. Medicare Part D Phase Ins, state run health insurance exchanges, and perhaps the most important provision, mandatory universal health care, are years away. The implementation path that these reforms will take is uncertain. What can happen between now and 2014 is anyone’s guess.

It is practically impossible to read the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As a wealth manager, you should familiarize yourself with the small individual provisions that are effective in 2010 and 2011, and start to incorporate them into cash flow.

For additional information, contact EABHealthWorks.