Will the Affordable Care Act Be Repealed and Replaced?
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law over a decade ago with the purpose of making affordable, high-quality health insurance available to everyone regardless of employment status or income. It also put new protections into place for consumers to help prevent high health care costs or denied coverage.
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As a result of the ACA, many who had not been able to get health insurance due to limited means or pre-existing conditions could obtain coverage. While a lot of good has come from the law, there have been serious downsides as well, leaving many to wonder whether the ACA will stand the test of time or be repealed and replaced.
The Benefits of the ACA
- More accessible coverage. Within the first five years after the ACA was signed into law, more than 16 million Americans were able to sign up for health insurance. The majority of the newly insured were young adults.
- More affordable coverage. Under the ACA, health insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of policyholders’ premiums on medical care. Only 20% of the money they take in can go towards marketing, overhead and administrative costs. If the health insurance company does not meet the 80/20 target, it is required to pay back the money from premiums back to the policyholders.
- Coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Prior to the ACA, health insurance companies could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions such as cancer or birth defects.
The Drawbacks of the ACA
- Businesses are cutting hours to avoid providing health insurance benefits. The ACA penalized larger businesses that did not provide health benefits to full time employees. Reacting to this law, many workers lost their employer health insurance because, rather than providing benefits, businesses found it was cheaper to reduce employees hours to part time or just pay the penalty.
- Health care costs went up. Because health insurance companies now must cover pre-existing conditions (free preventative care, maternity, mental health, unlimited out of pocket maximums, etc.) on all plans, this increased the premiums significantly.
- Taxes went up. Several new tax laws were passed to pay for the ACA, including taxes on pharmaceutical sales and medical devices.
What to Expect in the Future
As it is, the ACA undergoes scrutiny and is subject to changes on an annual basis. The general public is somewhat divided on whether the ACA has caused more harm than good, and the current and future presidential administrations are likely to suggest changes to the law or get rid of it altogether.
Even so, most of the ACA’s critics are not interested in seeing the law repealed; they simply want to address its problems. Ultimately, it is unlikely that we will see the ACA repealed and replaced anytime soon.
Finding the Best Health Insurance with Nevada Insurance Enrollment
While the ACA is far from perfect, it has made health insurance accessible to many. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our health insurance agents can determine whether you qualify for a subsidy to bring down or eliminate your monthly premium. We help you compare plans across multiple health insurance providers to find the right one for your needs.
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