A New Plan to Replace the ACA

With the effort to amend/repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act, we are currently one plan down and one to go. The first attempt to enact a new plan failed to come to vote in the House in March. This week a modified plan has surfaced that some are saying may move closer to being approved. In the below Article you will see some of the major provisions we expect to see vetted over the coming days.

 

 Republicans have a new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare

Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 | 10:26 AM ET  by Berkeley Lovelace Jr. – CNBC

Republican lawmakers have a new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in a bid to bridge the gap between the House Freedom Caucus and moderates, according to a document obtained by CNBC.

A Freedom Caucus source told CNBC the changes to the health bill would secure 25 to 30 “yes” votes from the Freedom Caucus, and the new bill would get “very close” to 216 votes. The source said that 18 to 20 of those “yes” votes would be new.

Here is the document:

MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act – 4/13/17

Insurance Market Provisions

The MacArthur Amendment would:

  • Reinstate Essential Health Benefits as the federal standard
  • Maintain the following provisions of the AHCA:

– Prohibition on denying coverage due to preexisting medical conditions

– Prohibition on discrimination based on gender

– Guaranteed issue of coverage to all applicants

– Guaranteed renewability of coverage

– Coverage of dependents on parents’ plan up to age 26

– Community Rating Rules, except for limited waivers

Limited Waiver Option

The amendment would create an option for states to obtain Limited Waivers from certain federal standards, in the interest of lowering premium costs and expanding the number of insured persons.

States could seek Limited Waivers for:

  • Essential Health Benefits
  • Community rating rules, except for the following categories, which are not waivable:
  • Gender
  • Age (except for reductions of the 5:1 age ratio previously established)
  • Health Status (unless the state has established a high risk pool or is participating in a federal high risk pool)

Limited Waiver Requirements

States must attest that the purpose of their requested waiver is to reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions. The Secretary shall approve applications within 90 days of determining that an application is complete.

CNBC has reached out to the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan about the document.

Earlier this month, Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows said the majority of caucus members will support the new bill if changes offered by the White House are included in the legislation, such as coverage waivers related to community rating protections.

In March, House Republicans pulled their first attempt at a repeal and replacement of Obamacare, dubbed the American Health Care Act, due in large part to opposition from both conservative and moderate Republicans.

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The ‘Trump effect’ on your Obamacare coverage

Happy Holidays from Medical Cost Advocate! As we enter a new year and new administration, change is inevitable on many fronts. Understandably people want to know what that means in regards to their healthcare. More specifically they want to know how they will be affected in light of the promised changes to Obamacare. Though we can only speculate at this point, a great overview by healthinsurance.org provides some insights based on what we know so far.

With our newly elected president threatening repeal of Obamacare, should you worry that your health insurance could go up in smoke?

By Louise Norris, healthinsurance.org contributor, November 12, 2016

Donald Trump will be our next president. What exactly does that mean for your health insurance coverage and access to healthcare? It’s a question that has drawn speculation from health policy wonks since the day after Trump’s election – but I’ve also been receiving many of these questions from clients who are curious about whether their coverage will change any time soon.

In truth, nobody can say for sure at this point, since there are still so many moving parts to the law. But we have some educated guesses, based on Trump’s positions and the actions Congress has taken over the last six years with regards to Obamacare.

Here are the best answers we have at the moment for some questions you might have, along with more details about what you can expect in the coming months and years:

Do you still need to buy ACA-compliant coverage?

Q: If Obamacare is going to be repealed, do I need to buy ACA-compliant coverage now?

A: Yes, you still need coverage for 2017, and now’s the time to buy it. On November 9, the day after Trump won the election, 100,000 people enrolled in coverage through HealthCare.gov, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. That’s the largest number of sign-ups in a single day since open enrollment began on November 1, so there is considerable momentum in terms of people enrolling in coverage for 2017.

We can assume that Congress will pass legislation to repeal parts of the ACA (more details below), and that Trump will sign it into law. This is likely to happen in 2017. But it’s unlikely that it will have an effective date prior to 2019, as Congress will need time to implement its replacement plan, and the IRS will need time to establish the new tax system that will go along with whatever replaces the ACA (most likely, tax credits to offset the purchase of coverage).

So for 2017, you still need coverage. And subsidies — including premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies — are still available. Although they’re likely to be eliminated eventually, at least in their current form, that’s not likely to take effect in 2017. (more…)

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