The Affordable Healthcare Act has brought many changes to the healthcare system and will soon be bringing more. Already there have been changes made in the way people receive healthcare. Coverage can no longer be denied to people with pre-existing conditions. People can also receive wellness screenings and preventive care without paying any additional cost.
Starting in 2014, all Americans will be required to have health insurance. This is known as the “individual mandate.” The state health exchanges are expected to create 30 million new customers for insurance companies. Under the Act, there are incentives for states to expand Medicaid coverage. This is meant to subsidize the cost of many individual policies that will result from the exchanges.
Insurance premiums may increase
Also from the result of this Act, the insurance industry will have to cater to more individual customers than they do on selling group plans to employers. However, insurance companies do not have any idea how expensive it will be to provide coverage to the new customers the Act will bring. Additionally, many of these new customers will not have been insured for a number of years and are possibly not even working. Due to this some people may be required to pay significantly higher premiums, at least in the beginning.
Some insurers will not appear on the exchange
There may be some insurance companies that will have some difficulty getting into the new exchange market. Some insurance companies may not be able to obtain the necessary certification from the National Committee of Quality Assurance or some other certification agency to get on the insurance exchanges. This could result in new customers not being able to find them listed among the choices they have in their state’s exchange.
Due to the health care legislation, bigger group insurance companies have been buying up smaller carriers that cater to individuals. As a result, there may be some confusion among individual. Some larger companies that purchased smaller companies have left the smaller companies with their names intact. However, they are no “rebranding” them. As a result, individuals may think that their insurance company has disappeared.
Some individuals may not be impacted at all
Individuals who already have health insurance from their employer may not feel any impact on their lives. Health insurance companies have already made the biggest changes. There may be some employers that may decide to drop their plan and force their employees into the individual exchanges. However, it is believed that his is unlikely to happen.
The insurance market will become more concentrated
The insurance companies that choose not to pursue individual customers may only survive for two or three more years; after which they will likely go out of business. Today’s insurance market is already concentrated and in the coming years is likely to become more so.
If you already have insurance through your employer, you should wait and see what happens. It is possible that you will not see any changes in your coverage at all. However, if you do not have health insurance, you need to learn about your state’s insurance exchange and what you are required to do in order to become insured.
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