Many policyholders wonder if their plans will continue after January 2014.
When President Obama spoke about the reforms that have now been approved by the Supreme Court, he noted that health insurance coverage will become available for millions of Americans, but at the same time, Republican rival Romney is stating that others will lose the plans they have.
What is the truth of the way the Affordable Care Act will impact those already covered?
President Obama has stated that there are approximately 250 million Americans who are already covered by health insurance, and that they will continue to receive that coverage, as the law is designed only to make policies more affordable and secure. On the other hand, Mitt Romney claimed that “Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.”
Though health insurance experts say Romney’s numbers are slightly exaggerated, there is truth to the idea behind it.
The Affordable Care Act does not guarantee that individuals who have policies and are happy with their coverage will be able to keep it. Equally, employers continue to have the right to drop the benefits they offer, or to change what they are offering. As an increasing number of alternatives become available, it is more than likely that this will occur. There is also no guarantee that the coverage that is available will be any cheaper, though many will be receiving subsidies.
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However, individuals with a pre-existing condition will now be able to obtain coverage without fear of being denied for that reason or being charged higher premiums than their healthy counterparts. Furthermore, policies will no longer be able to include lifetime limits. Therefore, while coverage may not become any cheaper in general, it will be much more widely available and less restricted.
What should also be noted is that coverage must meet certain minimum federal standards. At the moment, some health insurance plans carried by Americans do not meet these minimums, so while they may feel that they have medical coverage, they may still need to purchase a new plan in order to make sure that they comply with the required standards.