What You Need to Know about the GOP Health Care Bill

Jun 20, 2017 by

The GOP has put forth its proposed bill for new healthcare legislation, and the 123-page document has many heads spinning. Here are the key facts you need to know about the new American Health Care Act (AHCA) and how it’s likely to affect you.

The Bill Doesn’t Fully Replace the Affordable Care Act

While some parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be significantly changed by the new bill, the ACA is not being fully repealed and key components of it remain.

Here are the parts of ACA that are going away:

Taxes and Subsidies: All tax requirements – including the 3.8 percent investment tax on families who make over $250,000 – will be repealed under the new act. Likewise, the established subsidies to assist low and middle-income families are removed.

Tax and Employer Penalties: Penalties for employers and individuals who do not enroll or meet the requirements of the ACA will be repealed under the AHCA.

Medicaid Expansion Program Delayed: Under the ACA, Medicaid was scheduled to broaden its scope to provide care to adults who make less than 138 percent of the national poverty standard. This expansion is now postponed until 2020 or later, which means that there will be a multitude Medicare Supplement Plan F changes for 2020. According to Mark Prip from MyMedigapPlans.com, the cost of Plan F is almost always higher than Plan G.

Plan Variety: The ACA required insurance companies to offer several plan options with different coverage. That requirement will no longer be in place.

Key components of the ACA will remain valid and in effect: Wider coverage requirements: Insurers will still be required to cover those with pre-existing conditions and children can remain on their parents’ healthcare plan until age 26.

Exchange Program: States that created exchanges under the ACA will be allowed to keep the exchanges active for residents.

What the AHCA Bill Changes

Under the new bill, Medicaid will undergo significant changes. Rather than a model that pays for all services for each recipient, states will be allowed to manage a set amount of funds per person. The new bill also swings some penalties in the favor of insurers. They can charge a penalty for lapsed coverage and charge older adults up to five time the premium of younger adults.

Though the ACA subsidies for low and middle-income families were removed, the new bill does provide tax credits to help those income groups. Individuals who make less than $75,000 per year are eligible for the credit which starts at $2000 and increases with the recipient’s age. The plan will also provide states a significant amount of federal money to manage as they choose to assist low-income residents.

Next Steps for the New Bill

The bill has been advanced by The House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has urged prudence and reminds decision-makers of the importance of exploring the bill and the associated costs carefully before fully adopting it. Some Republicans think that the bill, as-is, will not pass the full Senate and that further review and modifications will be required. At this time, it’s unclear whether the GOP will be able to maintain the votes required to pass the bill

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