Congressional Republicans have released their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) will usher in big changes to the healthcare opportunities and options for millions of Americans. But how will it affect you? Starting Monday, the team at FRAY is adding a new weekly email to address these broad changes and keep you informed.
You may have questions like:
- What are the key differences between the ACA and the AHCA?
- How will this impact my small business?
- What will tax exemptions look like and who will they apply to?
- Will I still be penalized for not buying insurance?
We’ll answer all these questions, plus questions submitted by you, each week from now until the AHCA dies or is signed into law.
On Monday, our conservative and progressive writers will explore the bill and talk about the positive and negative effects they see coming for healthcare. First though, here’s a high level look at some key provisions of the AHCA and how it contrasts with its predecessor, the ACA.
For the private insurance market, the AHCA proposal seeks to:
- Rescind individual and employer mandates (Ways & Means Committee, Secs. _05 & _06).
- Allow insurance companies to add a 30% charge for one year when selling a plan to individuals uninsured for more than 63 days in the previous year, beginning in 2019 (Energy & Commerce Committee, Subtitle D, Sec. 133).
- Replace ACA subsidies with tax credits based on age for uninsured individuals with income under $75,000 (if filing individually) or $150,000 (if married filing jointly). The credits may not be used to pay for any plan covering abortion care (W&M, Sec. _15).
- Create a $15 billion annual fund available to states for efforts to stabilize the market or lower patient costs (especially for high-risk or very sick patients) (E&C Subtitle D, Sec. 132).
- Repeal most ACA taxes, including premium tax credit, small business tax credit, tanning tax, medical device tax, health savings account tax, Medicare Hospital Insurance tax, and net investment tax, effective in 2020 (W&M, throughout).
- Delay the ACA’s tax on “Cadillac” plans until 2025 (currently scheduled for 2020) (W&M, Sec. _07).
- Change the previous ACA charging limit for older adults (3x the premium of younger people) to 5x the premium of younger people (E&C Subtitle D, Sec. 135).
For the Medicaid program, the AHCA proposal seeks to:
- Restructure Medicaid to place caps (per capita) on funding starting in 2020. This creates a ceiling on Medicaid spending for each state based on number of past enrollees (E&C, Subtitle C, Sec. 121).
- End Medicaid expansion, effective in 2020. Allow states to enroll new people in the expansion program through 2019. Those insured under the expansion may remain in the program after 2020, so long as they do not have a break in eligibility (E&C, Subtitle B, Sec. 112).
- End requirement that Medicaid programs provide the same essential health benefits as exchange plans, effective in 2020 (E&C Subtitle B, Sec. 112(c)).
- Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood by freezing Medicaid payments to clinics for all services for one year (beginning upon passage) (E&C, Subtitle A, Sec. 103).
- Change Medicaid eligibility standards to disallow lottery winners, repeal retroactive eligibility (three months prior to application), and eliminate interim coverage for immigrants still collecting documentation (E&C Subtitle B, Sec. 114).
Thanks for taking a look with us, we’ll see you on Monday with more on the differences between the ACA and the AHCA, plus a few of your questions. Don’t forget to invite a friend today who needs to learn about the ACHA.