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True or False: 2014 Will Change the Way Individuals Approach Healthcare?

Maybe. When the ACA was passed in March, 2010, included was an extensive timetable for the implementation of its various provisions. Some were effective immediately; others as far out as 2020. The most significant provisions, however, are scheduled for 2014. Recently, it seems that some key components of the ACA  that were listed as 2014 deliverables are questionable. Consider some of these items due in 2014:

Health Insurance Exchanges will open for the enrollment season beginning October 1, 2013 with coverage effective January 1, 2014. Individuals will be legally required to own health insurance, and these marketplaces will allow people to shop for health insurance at competitive rates. Each state will have its own exchange that will be regulated by that state. Not exactly. Although this was what ACA intended, health insurance exchange have become a political hot potato. As of April 1, only 18 states will have established their own state based exchanges, 7 states have opted to partner with the federal government and 26 states will default to the federal government entirely. We’ll see what happens.

An important part of the ACA concerns health insurance for small business owners and their employees.  Special health insurance exchanges will be created beginning in January, 2014 to offer business owners with up to 100 employees an opportunity to purchase health insurance. These exchanged are also regulated by states. In 2014 and 2015, for example, participation may be limited by states to businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Postponed. It was too difficult operationally to get this done by 2014. The federal government was forced to delay the launch in the 33 states where they are running or partnering to run the exchanges. The requirements will be delayed in the other states as well. Where does this leave the small business owner? Any owner who has planned on buying health insurance through an exchange will be have only one health plan to offer their employees in 2014.

Analysts have said that starting in 2014, as many as 32 million people will have health insurance for the first time. Individuals with preexisting conditions will be represent a considerable portion of the newly insured. Perhaps one of the most attractive features of the new health care plans is the  mandatory inclusion of preventative services, maternity care and prescription drugs. True, but it will MORE expensive. The new benefits are excellent, however the cost to an individual will be high. Many of the people who enroll in this new health insurance will be those that are sickly and have preexisting conditions. Three of the major health insurance companies have said that premium could rise by 25% to 116% for some beneficiaries. Younger people, who will be required to purchase health insurance, will also pay significant premium as a result of many more sick individuals.

How do you know what to expect?
For additional information, contact EAB HealthWorks.