Everyone seems to have an opinion about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the bulk of the health reform law. But – are they all informed opinions? Whatever your take on the ruling, these ten things are just plain facts. Put them in your pocket so you can dominate the conversation the next time someone wants to start a friendly debate.
1. By 2014, every consumer not covered through their workplace will have to purchase health insurance or will face a penalty/tax for not purchasing it.
2. The Supreme Court has ruled that that the individual mandate is Constitutional and is officially considering it a “tax.”
3. In 2014, health insurance exchanges will be created across the country to help people purchase coverage online and provide subsidies to those that are eligible.
4. Starting in 2014, individuals will not be denied health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
5. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26. This has been in effect since the law originally passed in 2010.
6. There will be additional mandated benefits in health insurance plans. For example, some states may pass laws that require every plan to have maternity coverage for men and women.
7. Preventive care is now provided without a copayment at the time of the visit. Just to be clear, preventive care is not “free” – you’re paying for it as part of your premium. There just will never be an additional copayment.
8. Some states will expand Medicaid coverage and eligibility by 2014. For more about Medicaid expansion, read this recent blog post.
9. More money is being spent on medical care. Health care reform enacted a medical loss ratio (MLR) that requires health insurance companies to pay between 80 to 85 percent of premiums on medical care.
10. Health insurers have to justify large rate increases on their website and inform consumers of the rate increases.