The Basics of Obamacare
The US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling upholding Obamacare is likely to impact younger and older Americans alike.
Although long-term effects of the court’s ruling are unclear because of the upcoming Presidential and legislative elections, in its present form the Affordable Health Care Act, passed in 2010, will require most Americans to have health insurance by 2014. The Act will also make it easier for many to have insurance they might previously have been denied.
The ruling will prohibit insurance companies from denying anyone insurance due to preexisting conditions.
It will also place limits on age-related increases in premiums. According to CNN, President Obama said such provisions of the health care law were intended to create an all-inclusive system.
Individuals opting to remain uninsured despite increased availability of insurance coverage will be required to pay a penalty, interpreted in the Supreme Court ruling as a tax. While some critics of Obamacare characterize the Affordable Health Care Act as a tax hike, the President notes that “right now, everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.”
Although there will be exceptions for people of low income and members of certain religious affiliations, Americans of all ages will be held to provisions of the Act. There are no provisions at present regarding eligibility for Medicare, but eligibility for Medicaid is to be expanded under the Act, though there is a possibility that some states will not go along with the expansion.
The Court’s ruling would appear to benefit Americans not yet eligible for Medicare by increasing their options for health care. But there are also provisions offering potential benefits to those already on Medicare. Specifically, prescription drug costs are addressed in the Act, with requirements for drug plans to reduce charges during the “donut hole” phase when drug costs are covered out of pocket. The Act also calls for an increase in preventive health services, which may result in greater flexibility and an increase in Medicare-covered options when it comes to dealing with health matters before they become serious.
Although not everyone agrees, many believe such measures are likely to help the average Medicare recipient to save money. For information on how you can save money, find the lowest Medigap rates in your area using our free Medicare Supplement Insurance quote form.
For a more extensive overview on changes to come for Medicare, read Part Two of this article.
Obamacare Ruling and Medicare Explained © 2012 MedicareMall.com