The Colony Group Spotlights Health Insurance!

The month of June, The Colony Group spotlight is on Health Insurance… What a hot topic right now!

It seems that this topic continues to spark huge amounts of debate and emotion, as our Federal Government wades through the process of “repeal and replace”. The Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) bill was voted on and approved with much pain and negotiation in the House, only to find it way to the Senate on shaky ground. As we know, the bill is now being reviewed and re-written in the Senate to hopefully gain enough support to pass under “reconciliation”. This is the only way the bill can move forward with a simple majority. If they are successful, it will go to the House once again, before going to the President’s desk for his signature. A long way to go you might be thinking… Yes, indeed a long way to go….

It’s no wonder this whole process has become so difficult. The most recent Kaiser poll (May) showed Americans have a 55% unfavorable view of AHCA, and only 31% favorable. Here are some things you really need to know. (you might be missing them in the Media these days)

Pre-exisiting conditions is probably the largest and most misunderstood point regarding the AHCA. People would not be ineligible or declined for coverage if they had pre-existing coverage. Their pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered. In the current version of the bill, if people CHOOSE to go uninsured for more than 63 days, they would be penalized with an increased rate through the health insurance company at the date they decide to enroll. There will still be “qualifying events” that will always allow you to enroll in coverage without any such penalty.

Insurance would no longer be compulsory- This includes both on the individual and employer levels. People will no longer be fined for lack of insurance, and large companies would not have to pay if they do not offer insurance to their employees. Again though, if you CHOOSE not to enroll in coverage during the open enrollment period, there will be an upcharge from the insurance company for a designated amount of time when you do. Bottom line, you need to sign up and be enrolled in a health insurance plan during the open enrollment period.

A few other things….

Insurance plans would no longer have to cover basic care without exclusion. The “essential health benefits” that are required today would still be available, but insureds could choose whether they want all of those additional benefits, or just a basic plan.

Adult and college aged children would still be able to remain on parents’ plan up to age 26.

There would still be tax credits for people who buy insurance. (Based on age and family size rather than income level)

Abortion Funding would be restricted

Medicaid Expansion would stop in 2020

Some of the taxes on the Health Care Law would be repealed.

So, in closing there’s a lot going on, and a lot left to be decided. The Senate is keeping a much more closed mouth while making changes to the current form of the bill from the House.

Although none of us know what the outcome will be, Amanda Banner and I are available for the most up to date guidance on your health insurance choices and compliance issues. Feel free to give us a call, or connect with us on Facebook, or our website.

Look for my next update when we have more info to share-

Robin Haas

Managing Partner

The Colony Group