Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Health Care Freedom Act Has Failed

By Coleen Elkins                  24-7 Health Insurance

A 48 hour attempt by the United States Senate to obtain a “skinny" version of the repeal of The Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare failed by one vote.

This is what the Health Care Freedom Act would have accomplished. It would have eliminated the individual mandate penalty and temporarily repealed the employer mandate penalty and medical device tax along with providing states flexibility on certain ACA requirements. Earlier in the week, separate votes on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (the Senate’s alternative to the American Health Care Act) and the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (the “repeal and delay” option) also failed.

As of today over 80 insurance companies have left the individual market. The market is extremely unstable. Insurance companies have until September to notify CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) if they intend to leave or stay for 2018. Currently forty five counties in the United States will have zero insurance options in 2018. This number could increase. 

Note: This does not mean Medicare Plans are leaving. If you are on Medicare you may still be impacted. The rules in the Affordable Care Act will change Medicare over time if it is not revised or repealed. Such rules included bundled payments for providers. This is where providers would receive and share a bundled payment for a single episode of services provided by each of them to a patient. 

Both parties have indicated next steps may include bipartisan efforts to fix the ACA and stabilize the market. Specific plans and a timeline have not been discussed yet.

Republican leadership in Congress or the Administration may also pursue other ways to dismantle, replace or reform the ACA including regulatory action, regulatory non-enforcement or other options

Our office supported efforts that would bring bipartisan support to help stabilize the health insurance marketplace. We encourage you to reach out to your legislature and tell them what is important to do. You can achieve that in 10 minutes or less by visiting their website or getting their contact information HERE 

Our health insurance and Medicare insurance agency is a Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and we are following legislative changes daily. We remain hopeful that resolution will come in time for the 2018 market to offer options to consumers. 

Please stay in touch with us as we do currently have options and ideas to help people find health insurance plans that meet their personal needs. 

Coleen Elkins 
Peace Of Mind For Your Health Since 1995 through ongoing customer service to our clients 
Individual, Small Business, and Medicare Specialist