Posted By Alan Donald @ Apr 8th 2010 9:45am In: General

So, Are We Better Off in Healthcare Now?

by Reese McFaddin, President, Workplace Benefits

Now that healthcare reform is now the law of the land, do you feel like you need a PhD in policy to understand it all?  Well, you are certainly not alone.  Most people are not so much concerned with policy as much as they are figuring out what it all means specifically to them.  

Of course, there are still many questions out there looming.  Most changes are not scheduled to take effect until 2014.  Until then, here’s an outline of what it means for you, your family, your business & your future explained in simpler terms and the timeline as it stands now.

Within the next 90 days:

If you are an individual with a pre-existing condition who has not been able to buy health insurance, you will see a creation of high risk health insurance pools.  Because these pools will be accepting anyone for any conditions, expect the premiums to be high.  However, the government plans to partially subsidize these payments.  Once the exchanges go into effect, you will see this plan eliminated.
By the end of 2010:
  • Small businesses who employ less than 25 employees and contribute over 50% of the employee only premiums may be eligible to receive a tax credit (from 2010-2013) of up to 35% of the premiums that you pay for each employee.
  • Lifetime maximums will be a thing of the past, which means that your policy will pay an unlimited amount for any or all of your medical conditions.
  • Children who are applying for coverage will no longer be denied for coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
  • Dependent children will be able to stay on their parent’s plan until the age of 26.
  • Preventative visits will be covered at 100%, which means no co-pay or deductible will be charged
2011 and beyond:
  • If you have Medicare and have reached your “donut hole” for prescriptions, you will be able to have your drugs refilled at a 50% discount. 
  • For H.S.A. account holders, you will no longer be reimbursed for non-medical expenses.
  • Employers who implement a wellness program for their employees could receive funds to help continue the plan for up to 5 years.
As we speak, there are still changes being made to this bill that might have to go back to Congress to be voted on again.

Reese McFaddin is president of Workplace Benefits,

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