Next week, the Supreme Court will begin to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the ACA, specifically the individual mandate that would require all Americans to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014. The mandate is highly contentious: 26 state governments and countless other groups are opposing the law. Yet there are many supporters, and although owning health insurance will be a legal requirement, the state run Health Insurance Exchanges will be open and offer competitive pricing.
If the legal challenges succeed in repealing the individual mandate, many Americans can breathe a sigh of relief. A majority of people have health insurance so the existence of an individual mandate component may not have directly influenced their health insurance benefits. That said, the concern of various groups is that keeping the law intact would set a precedent for the creation of any mandate. The result: individuals could be required to adhere to new constraints on other products and services.
Some significant new provisions of ACA were effective in 2011.Young adults under age 26 are now able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans. More benefits for Medicare participants: prescription drug discounts and preventative care at no cost. In addition to seniors, those with private insurance will be entitled to preventative care screenings with no co-pay or deductible.
If the Supreme Court repeals the individual mandate, what happens to other provisions of the ACA? Is the entire law rescinded? How about the Health Insurance Exchanges?
Few people understand the Supreme Court hearings at the end of this month. Stay in touch, whichever way the Court rules, there will most likely be some impact on you, your family, your employees and your employer.
For additional information, contact Ellen at EAB HealthWorks.