Health insurance continues to be a complicated and divisive issue in the United States. The House of Representatives has passed the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA), but the bill still has a long way to go before becoming law. Meanwhile, people are trying to predict the outcomes of the new health care law – or propose alternatives. There’s a lot going on – here are some highlights:
Employers ask how the AHCA would affect employer-sponsored health coverage. According to CBS News, the current bill would eliminate coverage requirements for large employers. It would also remove caps on the amount of money employees can be forced to pay out of pocket for essential coverage.
The CBO Score Raises Concerns. The House of Representatives passed the AHCA before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) could provide a review of the final version. In May, the CBO announced its analysis of the bill. According to the Hill, the analysis found that an amendment would likely cause many people with pre-existing conditions to lose insurance. Premiums would rise overall, and some people could see rate increases of up to 800 percent.
The American Health Care Act moves to the Senate. After passing the House of Representatives, the GOP health bill went on to the Senate, where significant changes are expected to occur. According to Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal, the Senate is working on options to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges and to phase out the ACA’s funding for Medicaid expansions over a longer period of time.
ACA uncertainty persists. Although the ACA remains the law for the time being, there is much uncertainty regarding the future of the act, how the individual mandate will be enforced and whether insurers will receive important subsidies. Amid this uncertainty, insurers are backing out of the 2018 exchanges. The Hill reports that some places may be left without participating insurers.
States look at a single-payer system. Democrats in California have been pushing a government-run, single-payer health care system, sometimes called “Medicare for All.” According to Forbes, the California Senate approved a bill to create a single-payer system in the state. Analysis shows that the system could reduce overall costs by 8 percent while providing 100 percent coverage, but financing for the $400 billion price tag remains unclear. California is not the only state looking at ways to provide coverage to everyone. HealthcareDIVE reports that Nevada just passed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to anyone who is uninsured regardless of income.
Telemedicine continues to prosper. As health care costs rise, people are looking for ways to cut costs. Telehealth services may be one way to reduce expenses while also increasing convenience and accessibility. According to HealthcareDIVE, telemedicine is gaining traction at many hospitals and is a popular category for venture capital funding.
As you can see, health insurance is complicated! So is health insurance compliance – unless you have Travisoft on your side. Learn more about our benefits administration solutions here.