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What we know so far about Trump, Republicans, and the future of Obamacare

by Lauren Mandel

Over the past year – and now, over the past few days – President-elect Donald Trump has made his intentions concerning Obamacare relatively clear. However, the Republicans do not hold the necessary 60 seats in the Senate for a full repeal of the health law, so while that is unlikely, changes are sure to come.

Below, we’re sharing what we know so far, and most importantly, what you can do now to make sure you’re as protected as possible for the future.

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No matter what the changes may be, they won’t happen immediately.

Last year, the Senate passed a reconciliation bill that was also passed in the House and then eventually vetoed by President Obama. But with Trump now set to take office in January, that bill could come back into play. The bill may be a good indication of which Obamacare provisions could eventually be eliminated, but these things take time. Even if this is the path the new administration chooses to take, it will take months for anything to be finalized.

Certain provisions of the health law will very likely remain in tact.

Even if Trump does revive this bill, certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act cannot be repealed with reconciliation. For example, those with pre-existing conditions (like cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses) should know that health insurers will likely still be required to cover you, regardless of your health history. The same goes for young adults still on their parent’s health plan; you will most likely still be able to keep this coverage until age 26.

Even still, it wouldn’t hurt for women to look into birth control options.

Under the Affordable Care Act (and according to regulations more recently issued by the government), insurers are required to cover birth control at no additional cost to the individual. However, Trump could end up repealing this part of the health law, ending access to free contraceptives. So what are your options right now? Many women will choose to start paying for their birth control out-of-pocket, while others are seeking out alternatives that could outlast a Trump presidency. No matter your decision, we encourage you to consult with your doctor to find an option that makes sense for your health.

No matter what, get a health plan now to ensure you’re covered for the immediate future.

It’s clear changes are coming, but for now, it’s still important to get health insurance for 2017. As we said above, there’s no telling when exactly these changes to Obamacare might happen. And even with these changes, you could still have the option to hold on to your current coverage, so it’s arguably more important than ever to secure health coverage now.

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