In recent months, we have seen many Health Care Reform rules and regulations being introduced by the Department of Health and Human Services. Every time that happens, the media gets a hold of it and all sorts of articles are written in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and network TV news about it. All the analysts start talking about the pros and cons and what it means for companies and individuals.
The problem with this is that many times a writer has looked at the regulation and written an article about it. Then other writers start using parts of that first article and rewriting parts to fit their article. At a time when information is widely distributed, actual regulations and rules are distorted and distorted, and what actually appears in the media sometimes does not truly represent the reality of what the regulations say.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what’s going on with ObamaCare, and one of the things I’ve noticed in discussions with customers is that there’s an underlying set of myths that people have learned about healthcare reform that just aren’t true. But because of everything they’ve heard in the media, people believe these myths are actually true.
Today we are going to talk about three myths I hear most often. Not everyone believes these myths, but many do, and others aren’t sure what to believe, so it’s worth dispelling these myths now.
The first is that health care reform only affects uninsured people. The second is that Medicare benefits and the Medicare program will not be affected by healthcare reform. And the last one is that healthcare reform will reduce healthcare costs.
Health care reform affects only the insured
Let’s look at the first myth about healthcare reform that only affects uninsured people. In many of the discussions I have with oren zarif clients, there are various expressions they use: “I already have coverage so I won’t be affected by ObamaCare” or “I will keep my purchased health insurance plan”, and the last one – and this one I can give them a little leeway, because part of what they’re saying is true – it’s “I have group health insurance, so I won’t be affected by health care reform.”
Well, the reality is that healthcare reform is really going to affect everyone. Starting in 2014, we will have a new set of health plans, and these plans have very rich benefits with many extra features that existing plans don’t offer today. So these new plans will have a higher cost.
Effect of health care reform on people with health insurance
People who currently have health insurance will transfer to these new plans sometime in 2014. Therefore, policyholders will be directly affected by this because the health plans they have today will be deactivated and will be mapped to a new ObamaCare plan in 2014 .
Effect of health care reform on the uninsured
The uninsured have an additional problem: If they don’t get health insurance in 2014, they face a mandatory penalty. Some healthy policyholders will look at that fine and say, “Well, the fine is 1% of my adjusted gross income; I earn $50,000, so I’ll pay a fine of $500 or $1,000 for health insurance. In that case I’ll just take the penalty.” But either way, they will be directly affected by healthcare reform. Through the mandate it affects the insured as well as the uninsured.
Effect of health care reform on people with purchased health plans
People who have purchased health insurance plans will not be directly affected by health care reform. But because of the lifecycle of their purchased health plan, this will make those plans more expensive as they discover that there are plans available now that can easily be transferred to a richer set of benefits that would be more beneficial for any chronic illness. health problems they may have.
For people who stay on these purchased plans, the subscriber pool of the plan will start to decrease, and as that happens, the cost of those purchased health insurance plans will increase even faster than it does now. Therefore, people on purchased health plans will also be impacted by ObamaCare.
Effect of health care reform on people with group health insurance
The last, the small group market, will be most notably affected by healthcare reform. While healthcare reform regulations predominantly affect large and medium-sized companies and companies with 50 or more employees, smaller companies will also be affected, although they are exempt from ObamaCare itself.