Edgewood Blog

How the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) May Affect You – Updated 10/1/13

Posted on: September 26, 2013

UPDATE

10/1/13 – Non-Profit charged being fraudulent with government contracts enrolling people in Obamacare

10/1/13 – Instructions to Obamacare Navigators not to leave confidential and personal information out in the open – privacy concerns?

10/1/13 – The Glitches!

10/1/13 – Lower Premium but higher copays and deductibles for many

UPDATE 9/30/13 – Most searched for term on healthcare.gov is how to avoid penalty for not having health insurance – click here for full article from the Weekly Standard

Much has been said over the past few years (especially the past week!) about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), typically known as ‘Obamacare’.  There are many ins, outs, and nuances about the law that are good, bad, and ugly.  Since state health exchanges are scheduled to open this week, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of the good, bad, and ugly points of this law so that we can educate more people about this law and how it will affect you.  For purposes of this blog, the overview will be generalized and there may be some exceptions to every point.  Overall, the points described are taken by professionals to be true.

Good (taken from obamacarefacts.com):

  • Individuals cannot be denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions
  • Many types of preventative care are now automatically covered
  • Children can remain on parents health plans until they are 26
  • No annual caps on healthcare coverage
  • Can’t have coverage dropped if you get sick

Bad:

  • Higher deductibles and higher premiums
  • Many additional taxes on companies and individuals.  For example, Flex-Spending accounts will have a $2500 per year cap.  This will especially hurt parents who have children with special needs as the estimated cost of care can greatly exceed care for children without special needs.  Parents will no longer be able to spend money on the cost of care on tax-free dollars. Visit Americans for Tax Reform for more information
  • Many other additional taxes in place on individuals who fall in certain categories and the self-employed, medical device companies, health insurance companies, and hefty penalties on those who do not purchase health insurance by Jan 1, 2014, and the FSA cap noted above (See this brief article from Yahoo! Finance for more details)

Ugly:

  • At least 1200 businesses have been granted waivers so that they don’t have to comply with the law is it is written
  • Congress has a waiver and does not have to comply.  Further, their health care premiums will be paid mostly by the taxpayer, not by them as individuals (Daily Caller article here)
  • Employer mandate has been delayed until 2015 while individuals must comply or face a fine in 2014
  • Parts of the law have been delayed 19 times through Executive order or other means (Washington Times article here)

We have mixed feelings about this law.  On the one hand, the good points are great things, but we don’t think the government went far enough in its reforms (that can be a separate blog at another time).  On the other, giving special breaks to various groups who can play the system well doesn’t make it sound like this is a law that the rest of America should be excited about following.  We’re hoping for the best, but are skeptical.