HOW THE HEALTHCARE BILL WILL IMPACT YOU, YOUR FAMILY & YOUR BUSINESS

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this



Beyond the hype, snipes and myths, what will the landmark measure really do?

 

By Miriam Raftery



March 22, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – How will the landmark healthcare bill passed last night by the House of Representatives impact you, your family and your business?  The answers, detailed extensively below, may surprise you.

 

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure in the next couple of days, though the Senate has yet to vote on whether to accept House changes to a version of the bill that the Senate recently passed. While some changes may yet be made, major elements include provisions to take effect immediately, as well as many others that will be phased in over several years. These include:



 

FIRST YEAR (2010)

 

Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping people’s coverage when they become ill.

 

Starting immediately, children can no longer be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

 

Adults with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain coverage through a temporary program that will expire after new insurance exchanges go into operation in 2014.

 

Parents may keep adult children on their policies until age 26, extending coverage for college students and young people seeking work or without coverage through employers.

 

Insurance companies will be banned from capping lifetime benefits and restricted on limiting annual coverage.

 

Health insurers must report annually on the percentage of premiums spent on healthcare and provide rebates for excessive medical loss ratios.

 

All new healthcare plans must cover preventive services.

 

Some small business can receive a tax credit to help provide coverage for workers.

 

A temporary program will also help companies keep health coverage for early retirees (ages 55-64) through 2014.

 

Medicare drug beneficiaries may receive a $250 rebate. Long-term, the bill will close the Medicare “doughnut hole” gap for prescription drug coverage.

 

Exclude certain Indian tribal health benefits from gross income; the provision is effective for benefits and coverage after the bill’s enactment date.

 

Require the nonprofit Blue Cross/Blue Shield to have a medical loss ratio of 85% or higher to take advantage of certain federal tax benefits. The measure appears aimed at preventing gouging of consumers with soaring premium hikes.

 

Expand low-interest student loan programs, scholarships and loan repayments for health students and healthcare professionals to increase the workforce to meet patients’ healthcare needs.



Extends Medicare payment protections for small rural hospitals, including hospital outpatient services, lab services, and facilities that have a low‐volume of Medicare patients, but play important roles in communities.

 

Provide funds to build or expand community health centers and to fund scholarships and loan repayments to encourage more primary care physicians in under-served regions.

 

Require providers to implement enhanced screenings to crack down on fraud and waste.

 

Establish a website where consumers and small businesses in any state can find information on affordable health insurance coverage options, as well as information on small business tax credits and reinsurance for early retirees.



Expand public health programs and public health policies.

 

Set up a nonprofit institute to compare effectiveness of health treatments and outcomes.

 

Tanning parlors will be taxed 10% starting July 1st.

 

Expand adoption credits and assistance.

 

Encourage investment in new therapies to prevent, diagnose, and treat acute and chronic disease.

 

SECOND YEAR (2011)



Bonus payments of 10% will be paid to Medicare primary care physicians and general surgeons.

Medicare patients will be allowed a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service.

 

Requires coverage of stop-smoking programs for pregnant women.

 

New health plans will be required to cover preventive services free or at low cost.

 

Pharmaceutical companies with sales over $5 million a year must pay an annual fee based on market share.

 

Expands primary care, nursing and public health workforce through changes in the Medicare Graduate Medical Education program.

 

Creates a simple “cafeteria plan” for small businesses to provide tax-free benefits to employees, easing the administrative burden on small busienses.

 

Provides grants for states to set up systems to respond to consumer complaints about health insurance.

 

Starting in October, a new program for the poor under Medicaid will allow states to offer in-home and community-based care for the disabled who might otherwise need to be institutionalized.

 

Payments to insurers offering premium Medicare Advantage services will be frozen at 2010 levels, then gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.

Employers must disclose the value of health benefits to employees on their W-2 tax forms.

 

THIRD YEAR (2012)

 

Medicare payments to physicians will be reformed to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” designed to improve care.



Acute care hospitals will have incentives to improve quality of outcomes for Medicare patients

 

Hospitals will be provided financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.

 

FOURTH YEAR (2013)



A national pilot program for Medicare will encourage doctors, hospitals and other providers to improve coordination of patient care

 

The threshold to claim medical expenses on federal income tax returns will rise from 7.5 to 10 percent of income, but will remain at 7.5 percent for senior citizens through 2016.

 

Medicare payroll tax will rise to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals who earn over $200,000 and married couples earning over $250,000.

 

Sale of medical devices will be subject to a 2.9 percent excise tax, however devices sold at retail to the public will be excluded from the tax.

 

FIFTH YEAR (2014)



State health insurance exchanges will open for individuals and small businesses to obtain health coverage. People will be able to comparison shop for standardized health packages. The measure aims to assure that people of all incomes can obtain affordable care.

 

Medicaid eligibility will be expanded to include non-elderly people within 133% of the poverty level. States will receive increased federal funding to cover these individuals.

 

Most Americans will be required to buy health insurance coverage or pay a fine. However people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty rate ($88,000 at present) can receive healthcare tax credits to assist them. Penalties for not having insurance will be $95 for 2014, $325 for 2015, $695 in 2016 (or up to 2.5% of income in 2016). Families will pay half the amount for children, with a maximum cap of $2,250 per family. Individuals will not be penalized if affordable coverage is not available.

 

Health insurance plans will be prohibited from excluding people with pre-existing conditions.

Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage may be fined $2,000 for each employee who receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren't counted for the fine, however.

 

Free choice vouchers may be obtained by workers who qualify for an affordability exemption to the individual responsibility policy, but do not qualify for tax credits. Those workers could then take their employer contribution and join an exchange plan.

 

Health insurance companies with net premiums over $25 million will be required to pay a fee based on their market share.

 

Ban insurers from dropping people who participate in clinical trials for cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

 

Ban health insurers from imposing annual limits on coverage amounts that an individual may receive.

 

Prohibit insurers from excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions.

 

Prohibit insurers from discriminating or charging higher rates based on gender, health status, or most other factors.

 

Insurers could vary premiums ONLY based on tobacco use, geography, family size, or age. Seniors could be charged no more than triple the amount of younger consumers.

 

SIXTH YEAR (2015)

 

Medicare will reward physicians with payments that recognize quality of care instead of volume of services.



NINTH YEAR (2018)

High-cost employer-provided plans will be assessed an excise tax. However the first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 of individual coverage will be exempted. Retirees and people in high-risk professions will have higher levels set.



KEY CHANGES IN HOUSE BILL VS. SENATE VERSION

 

The Senate must still vote on whether to accept amendments made in the House (and listed above). The package of amendments now goes to the Senate under special reconciliation rules, meaning it is protected against a Filibuster. However the possibility remains that the Senate could fail to approve some amendments.

 

The House version offered the most generous help to low-income people to purchase health insurance (up to 400% of the federal poverty level). The House bill would also close the “doughnut hole” gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Democrats in the House also delayed the Senate’s plan to impose a 40% excise tax on the most comprehensive employer-provided policies from 2013 to 2018, arguing that the tax would hurt middle-class families. The House plan aims to cover additional costs instead by increasing Medicare taxes on high-income individuals and by imposing a 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income for high-income families. The House also increased fines for large employers who fail to provide coverage and would require people who don’t purchase insurance to pay at least $695 a year or up to 2.5% of their income.

 

While critics have argued that the bill would increase federal spending, the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded that the healthcare reform measures will actually reduce the federal deficit substantially.

 

The Senate and House bills combined would reduce the federal budget deficit by $153 billion over the next decade. The House version alone would lower the deficit by $138 billion.

 

The measure will not provide coverage for abortion.  President Barack Obama pledged to issue a signing statement clarifying that no federal funds will be used for abortion services as part of a last-minute deal to secure votes for passage from anti-choice Democratic legislators.The final House vote was 219-212, with all Republicans voting "no" and 32 Democrats also opposed. 

 

Among San Diego County's Congressional delegation, Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis voted yes, while Republican Congressmen Duncan Hunter, Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa voted no. Both California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the healthcare reform bill's passage.



 

This article compiled information published by the House Ways & Means Committee, the Government Accountability Office, Reuters, and the Washington Post.

 

Comments

This interview will start

This interview will start quite obviously with the prospective subscriber's full and complete legal name, followed by questions about the customer's address, frequency of sex, and date of birth. Other demographic details may be insisted upon by the insurer or insurance broker that's doing the interviewing. Healthcare Administration

What to do about the new healthcare law

The new health care bill has great repercussions for individuals and small business owners. The most important thing for this tax season is to speak to a qualified San Diego tax attorney about how the health care laws can impact you and the possible benefits/detriments to your personal tax situation. Please make sure that you look into all the possible consequences of this law.  

Health Care versus Health Insurance

My biggest dissapointment with this legislation is that it's almost exclusively health insurance reform. Just like the debt-ceiling "deal" it does little to address the real problem.

As long as health-care costs rise even a fraction of a percent above inflation (or average income levels) they will eventually swamp everything in the economy. The only real solution is to find exactly where these increases are comming from and how to keep overall costs flat whitout compromizing quality of care. That's a very difficult task, and I don't think congress is up to it. But lots of doctors and health-care administrators are.

That said, the legislation does indeed really help those with medical conditions obtain and keep health insurance.

cheers,
Trex

Well health is wealth and its

Well health is wealth and its not only phrase but it is the truth. If the society is healthy I think every thing here going to fine .

Cricket

Very interesting topic will bookmark your site to check if you write more about in the future.
Cricket

Healthcare reform will affect

Healthcare reform will affect families differently, depending on their different circumstances. For those struggling to pay bills, who’ve avoided buying insurance because it costs too much, reform might mean they'll have coverage, at least in a few years. For those at the top end of the income scale, it will mean higher taxes, fairly soon.
Crosstrainer
Personal Trainer UK

Concerned Health Websites

Living a healthy life is what one must do and to make life healthy daily check of your health is very important. One may find many websites related to health issues online and even one can develop his own health website with the help of web development services online.

Natural Acne Treatment

The most natural acne treatment for is dieting. Minimize eating on fried foods, caffeine, chocolate, carbonated drinks, salt, wheat, and even milk can make acne worse. It's better to eat more vegetables and fruits instead of salty or sugar packed foods. It is also recommended to increase your vitamin A, zinc and Vitamin B6 levels in your body. And you may also take some supplements, but by consuming foods that are high in these three vitamins will drastically help your skin condition.

Forecast

A report by economists at the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services forecast that healthcare spending in the US will nearly double over the next decade to $4.3 trillion in 2017. According to the report, healthcare spending will grow by an annual rate of about 6.7 percent through 2017, outpacing annual economic growth of 4.9 percent. Bulimia treatment

gold dallas

Your work is really looking good,I suggest that you take the help of Software development gold dallas

Healtcare

It is no secret. Healthcare is in crisis - high costs, poor or inconsistent quality, and inaccessibility are potentially catastrophic.If left unaddressed, financial pressure, service demands and the increased burden of chronic and infectious diseases will cause most countries to reach a breakpoint. Addiction Treatment

Preventative Healthcare

I don't agree with a lot of whats laid out in the long term plan, but I certainly like the emphasis on preventative health care. Detect early and often, and that should keep people healthier as well as keep the overall costs of health care down. Travel Insurance

As far as I have ever heard

laser hair removal is not a permanent hair removal treatment but a permanent hair reduction treatment. Many individuals post comments after only couple of sessions that their hair has disappeared. The cost of the method depends on the body geography of the concerned individual, the kind of laser used, the intensity of hair growth and the time taken for the procedure.

permanent hair removal

Buy Advair Online

I like how you have presented your information in excellent detail. I came across your blog and the topic really held my interest. Canada Drug Stop(www.canadadrugstop.com) is an affordable Canadian drug store in Canada, offers high quality Canadian prescriptions online. Place your order online for Canada drugs, Canadian pharmacy, Canada online Pharmacies and get up to 10 percent discount.

Allergic Dermatitis -

Allergic Dermatitis - Allergic Dermatitis is a common skin disorder that affects a large number of people every year. Emergence of rashes on skin because of some allergens is its most common symptoms.

Varicella Zoster

Varicella Zoster - Virus latency is one of the qualities of Varicella Zoster that affect the patient after a long time. It can cause complications like shingles later on.

The average car insurance

The average car insurance companies and their policies will only be accessible and readable to those customers that are willing to undergo a bit of a tedious interview process that also includes the requirement of certain application forms to be completed as well. This interview will start quite obviously with the prospective subscriber's full and complete legal name, followed by questions about the customer's address, frequency of sex, and date of birth. Other demographic details may be insisted upon by the insurer or insurance broker that's doing the interviewing. For instance, if the legal name that you've provided can't be sourced to any public records, you may be asked for your maiden.

Health Care Bill

The health care, and how it is outlined is impressive if realized. This may have a negative impact to business owners, but it should justify the fact that their employees are the arms in bringing money to their personal accounts.

Noelle
Small Business Marketing Consultant

This is a very detailed and

This is a very detailed and helpful look at healthcare bill, thank you for posting it. It is my impression that the immediate impact of the healthcare bill will be very similar to the credit reform act as well. Consumers will be insulated from the bureaucratic legalism of "insurance" services, which will include health insurance for the healthbill as well as hospital care, and everything from banking and mortgage lending to credit repair services, credit card processing merchants and credit reform. Basically, the government is taking on the form of the transparency watchdog for these services, and in turn providing the consumer with the option of taking on a federal (albeit, probably weaker) alternative. The healthcare bill will directly affect small businesses because employers will be held responsible for providing better care, but overall as individuals (even these bosses) everyone should see an improvement in how "insurance" companies handle their customer policies. In turn, like the credit reform act, the healthcare bill will be financially and socially beneficial for all of us.

Hello

This blog is very interesting and enjoyable to read. I am a big fan of the subjects discussed. I also enjoy reading the comments, but notice that alot of people should stay on topic to try and add value to the original blog post. I would also encourage everyone to bookmark this page to your favourite service to help spread the word....
Penile Deformities

Massage Las Vegas

Day Spa of Las Vegas offers a variety of skin care treatments including massage las vegas, bikini waxing, Facials, Peals, Wraps etc in Las Vegas.

Surgery

Thinking about knee replacement surgery, you should have a thoughtful discussion with your doctor prior to total knee replacement surgery and make sure to have your questions answered.

Knee Replacement Surgery

Thanks for the comprehensive article

This article really breaks down the health care bill and I think every part is equally important to understand. People lose sight of what this whole health care debacle is about. People need to get the medical supplies they need, and that's all I care about!

Good post

This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future
Laser hair removal London

NIce Posting

Hello, of course I came to visit your site and thanks for letting me know about it. I found this informative and interesting blog so i think so its very useful and knowledge able. I just read this post and wanted to say it is full of number one resources. Some I am familiar with. For those who don’t know these other sites they are in for a treat as there is a lot to learn there.

losing weight : Image consultancy : Guinot Products : Leg Wax Marlow