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Obamacare is Born – Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was signed into law on March 23, 2010, by president Barack Obama. This represent the most significant healthcare overhaul since the passing of the Medicare and Medicaid back in 1965.
The purpose of Obamacare was to create a health care system that is more affordable with better coverage. One of the big changes in Obamacare is the requirement for insurance companies to cover all the applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions. So far their have been mixed results. On the positive side, according to a Gallup the percentage of uninsured individuals dropped from 18% at the end of 2013 to just over 11% by mid 2015. On the negative side, the cost of insurance premiums have gone up and according to some experts may spike up by 50% in some states in 2016.
Obamacare Survives the Court
On June 28, 2012, the constitutionality of Obamacare was upheld by the United States Supreme Court after being challenged by Congress. The Supreme Court did agree that the states can not be forced to be active participants in the Medicaid expansion.
The Famous King V. Burwell case was settled on June 25, 2015, where the Supreme Court upheld that federal subsidies to help pay for health plans would be available for all states, even the states that do not have their own exchanges set up.
Under Obamacare who will remain uninsured?
The original goal of the Congressional Budget Office was to reduce the uninsured from 32 million to 23 million by 2019. However, the following individuals would still remain uninsured:
- Illegal immigrants – around 8 million people who would not be eligible for Medicaid or insurance subsidies.
- Any citizens who have chosen to not enroll in Medicaid even though they were eligible.
- Those citizens opting to pay the annual penalty and not get coverage. Mostly composed of single and young individuals.
- Additional Citizens that would incur a cost of more than 8% of household income. They would be exempt from the penalty.
Obamacare Insurance Exchanges
This act allowed the buildup of the individual states exchanges. Generally, these exchanges are regulated by the state governments. The purpose of the exchange was to allow and easy place for individuals and business to purchase polices. Individuals who had incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level would be eligible to receive subsidies to help pay for their coverage if they made their purchase through these exchanges.
Consumers would be able to use these exchanges through online websites or by calling a call center. The sites will give the consumer the options to choose from all the available products in the area they reside. There are currently more then a dozen states that have created their own exchanges. The states that have created their own exchanges include California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Minnesota, District of Columbia, Maryland, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
One of the new laws that was born out of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, was the Employer Mandate. The Mandate states that any Business that is currently employing more than 50 full-time employees and does not offer a health plan will be penalized. This was done to deter business from dropping their employee insurance coverage after the affordable care act would go into effect. The government wanted to insure that any existing sponsored employee plans would remain in effect. Click here for more information on the Employer Mandate.
There are quite a few misconceptions on Obamacare. Some of the more popular ones include Death panels, Members of Congress exemptions, and Illegal immigrants. Click here for more information.
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