Can you still get covered? Is the Affordable Care Act being repealed? Here are the answers to all of your Obamacare questions:
Yes And Maybe
If you need health insurance and want to know if insurers are still paying for subsidies, the answer is yes. The law requires insurers to offer the discounts.
In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled the federal government must provide tax credits that help middle-income consumers. These tax credits reduce the cost of your premiums, if you are eligible for them.
On November 1, open enrollment for Obamacare begins.
To sign up, visit this link.
What’s Going On Now?
Last Thursday, President Trump nixed the subsidies that health insurance companies receive from the government to help cover costs for low-income people. With his decision, the president seeks to stop subsidy payments from the government to the health insurance companies.
“Supporters of the Affordable Care Act alternatives that Mr. Trump aims to create say the executive order will result in more choices for consumers and will help bring down premium costs.”
Trumps order shoots for these alternatives:
- Broaden the scope of association plans (a way to purchase insurance across state lines)
- Reduce benefit regulations
- Lengthen the time period for short-term health care policies
About Those Subsidies
The president’s decision on subsidies aims to hurt the insurance companies, but two things could happen: higher premiums or leaving the system.
Higher premiums affect the consumer—that’s you. Something else to consider: insurers could leave the market all together, too. That also impacts the consumer.
Critics say the end to the subsidies could make Obamacare implode and force Congress to try and repeal the American Care Act (again and again and again).
Why This? Why Now?
More than likely, you won’t see any immediate changes since Trump’s latest announcement. According to TIME Money, consumers won’t see the fallout this year.
“Many insurers had anticipated that the government would discontinue the cost-sharing payments and already priced that likelihood into their premiums for 2018. The big wild card is whether some insurers will exit the markets altogether — certain states may allow carriers to break their contracts in the absence of payments, and their exit would be disruptive for affected consumers and eventually, for the entire Obamacare system.”
In the wake of the president’s plans, two senators announced a deal that continues the cost-sharing-reduction (CSR) payments through 2019, in exchange for changes to the law. Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. included changes that include the expansion of catastrophic plans and more flexible state-by-state regulation.
Alabama is one state that benefits the most from CSRs.
At first, Trump encouraged the bipartisan talks. But, changed his mind Wednesday morning. Some say he just added a caveat, and that’s up for you to decide.
He tweeted that he could not support a “bailout” for Obamacare insurers. The sentiment was shared by House Speaker Paul Ryan, along with “many conservatives”, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to bring a bill up for a vote, as Murray and Alexander look for support to pass it. The bill needs 60 votes to make it, requiring a dozen Republicans to agree to the short-term solution.