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The Affordable Care Act…Part 2

admin November 8, 2018

Not unpredictably, a 333-page regulation change to the Affordable Care Act has been released by The Department of Health and Human Services. Basically, the revisions have been put in place as a compromise for insurance companies and in order to adjust so that insurance premiums remain affordable, while still guaranteeing that healthcare companies cover the costs of most major medical expenses. The majorrevisions in the ACA remain untouched. This includes the provision that ensures the low out-of-pocket expenses and the disallowance of denials by insurance companies based on preexisting conditions.

According to the Washington Post here is the summary of the several major changes people should be aware of , although there are obviously more in the 333 page regulation change document.

Smoking Cessation Classes

In case smokers do not know, based on the Affordable Care Act the way it was written before the regulation change, smokers are penalized with 1.5 times higher premiums. But now with the regulation, smokers can avert these higher premiums by enrolling in a smoking cessation class.

Premium Increases Based on Age

According to the Affordable Care Act, premiums for seniors may not surpass three times that of a young adult. The regulation changes allows for one-year age bands in which the premium would slightly increase each year of age.

Insurance 1, Obama 0: High Deductibles Stay

Originally, the Affordable Care Act prohibited insurance companies from having plans with deductibles of more than $2,000 for individuals. The changes may now include high premiums under some plans.  Insurance companies were not happy with the original provisions for low premiums and contested saying leveled insurance programs make it nearly impossible to eliminate high deductibles completely. The Obama Administration has acquiesced, so now higher deductibles may be indicated in some cases.

More Changes

There are likely to be more revisions in the Affordable Care Act. As the Obama Administration continues to examine the law as written, there may be ongoing changes. One such chan ge could come from some current pending legal challenges. Just recently, the Supreme Court ordered a federal appeals court to review whether or not a certain provision of the ACA does indeed violate religious rights of Liberty University. The ruling has not yet been handed down on the case, but if the Justices favor Liberty’s argument—most say it is unlikely—that would then mean that the ACA is allowing taxpayer money to be used to fund abortion and contraception procedures. As far as the religious cases, Liberty is only one of several dozen cases, so these final rulings could absolutely help to define more regulation provisions in the ever evolving story known as the Affordable Care Act.

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