When the Affordable Care Act came out, it was quickly coined as ‘Obamacare’ even if that was a far cry from the official name. Today, it should be no surprise that with Trump in office, our health care system has quickly been dubbed ‘Trumpcare’, even though the ACA is still mostly intact. There are a lot of questions going around now, some of which are more answerable than others. We will spend our time in this article going over the things that can easily be answered.
What is the State of Obamacare?
Now that Trump has taken office, those who do not closely follow politics are constantly asking about the state of the ACA and whether or not it is still in place. For those who are a bit nervous, the answer is yes, absolutely yes. The ACA is still very much a part of American healthcare and there is no reason to believe that it will not remain the law of the land for some time to come. There are however many proposed changes that could hike up the premiums for Obamacare customers.
This might sound like a nasty turn of events, but the idea is to provide lower premiums for looser coverage plans. In other words, while Obamacare was the only options for the last eight years, it is now possible for individuals who want to try different healthcare coverage options to do so. Private insurers are now able to offer packages off the ACA market, and consumers could not be happier. In fact, thanks to the offering of lower premiums we could very well be seeing many insurers simply leaving the ACA market altogether.
Some Parts of Obamacare Still Remain Law
While insurers do now have the opportunity to stay off of the ACA market while offering their customers ample options for coverage, there still certain laws that they need to adhere to. Most of the rules that govern Obamacare insurance will remain law, which includes the subsidies for middle-income individuals along with the Medicaid expansion for the impoverished in states that chose to adopt it. There have been some executive orders from the White House that have changed the way in which the system operates, but they have not eliminated health care law by any stretch of the imagination.
The Executive Order Against Obamacare
Trump’s recent executive orders have been hard for some to swallow, but as of right now, no real changes have been made. The executive order has no force of law, but it does ask three different federal agencies to move forward in considering new regulations. If these federal agencies do agree, it could take several months for those regulations to make their way through the system. Also, bear in mind that there is a period of public comment, so the people will have their say as to whether or not they wish for this to happen.
Something to keep in mind is that the regulation changes do not touch anything that is specifically tied to or influenced by Obamacare – all they can do is change the rules for parts of the system that the ACA doesn’t touch. The idea is to offer more Americans access to the insurance that they need rather than forcing them to use Obamacare.
Trump did manage to eliminate certain subsidies which were created along with the Affordable Care Act, but these were never clearly appropriated by Congress. While they exist, they are a legal anomaly. Insurers will still need to provide discounts to qualified customers, and they still have the option of using the administration to reclaim the funds. Ultimately, however, they will lose money in the short term.
Individuals who get their insurance from work will not be affected as badly, and you now even have the choice of purchasing your own insurance. If you make this decision, it will be easier for your employer to give you pre-tax money.
If you work for a smaller business rather than a large one, then you may see some serious changes to your insurance plan. The executive order does call for the Department of Labor to make some changes to the rules that allow small companies to band together and purchase coverage that larger businesses are privy to. These plans will now be covered and watched by federal employment law, meaning the state would simply be staying out of it. There are some concerns about this, however. For example, prior to 1983, the laws were looser and these plans were prime targets for fraud.
Many businesses will join in, but those who are unable to do so will need to turn back to the Obamacare market, and they will most likely face higher premiums. Something else to note is that those who fare well in the group association plans will likely be those who have mostly healthy employees. As you can see, there are still some kinks to work out, and it is hoped that they will be ironed out before anything goes fully into effect.
A Bright Future?
Trump healthcare is bringing some serious changes to the healthcare market, and as with any major change, there are going to be some issues to work out. It is difficult to tell which direction this will go in, in the meantime, which leaves many employers and individuals to wonder exactly what they will be dealing with as the insurance landscape changes over the next few years. If the past is any indication, however, the problem will work itself out in the end, and we will eventually see change for the better.