Over the past few weeks, I have seen more “concerns” being raised regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Much of the discussion has dealt with the Affordable part. Most individuals’ perception of “affordable” is that the product/service will be cheaper than what they’re paying at present. When they don’t realize the savings, we’re going to have some very interesting conversations. But that’s not my topic for today. While everyone has been piling on (those of us in the business and benefits community), what are the positives about PPACA?
From an individual’s perspective there are many: extended coverage for young adults; access to uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions as well as children under age 19; coverage of certain preventive care services (with no out-of-pocket costs); insurance providers cannot impose any lifetime or unreasonable annual limits; Medicaid Part D “Donut Hole” will be addressed in variety of ways with it disappearing in 2020; and access to health insurance exchanges for individuals and small business.
I feel that most individuals will say that the above offerings are not necessarily bad and can be good for many. And this has been the focus of many in Congress and proponents of this legislation. Their argument is that we must have “universal” health coverage – and this is one way to start down that road.
But the real question is how do we pay for this expanded coverage? Let me be clearer – who is going to pay for these benefits? For those of us who pay health insurance premiums as employers or employees, look at your premium renewal rates for this year AND next year and you’ll get a better feel for who is going to bear the burden of the Affordable Health Care Act.