We are expecting President Trump to make big changes in health insurance. He used his first executive order to have federal agencies cut back on the rules pertaining to ObamaCare. President Trump’s first move is expected to be to end what’s called the “individual mandate”.
Political experts feel that the president is considering making 7 changes in total. I thought we’d take a quick look at them today.
Completely Repeal Obamacare
The biggest possible change would be if the President completely repeals Obamacare. Should this happen, it would eliminate federal aid to expanded Medicaid programs in 31 states. The Affordable Care Act would no longer have minimum benefit requirements. Already in the works is eliminating what called the “individual mandate”. The mandate requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty at tax time.
Purchase Health Insurance from other States
The President believes that individuals may pay lower premiums if allowed to buy their insurance from a completely different state. Insurance companies would find increased competition, causing them to lower premium costs.
Individuals living in rural areas of the country often pay higher insurance costs. Insurance companies don’t want to pay the added transportation cost of moving a patient to a better equipped hospital. Currently, a person’s health insurance would not pay for out-of-state services.
Incentivize Health Insurance Purchases
Currently, the government’s “individual mandate” regulation forces individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a hefty penalty if they don’t. In 2016, a person had to pay a penalty of $695.00 or 2.5% of the person’s modified adjusted gross income. An individual could enroll in a plan, having their premiums fully deductible on their current-year federal income tax. This is a benefit that has long been available to corporations only.
Promote Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts or HSAs already exist and many people have them available to them. An HSA is a tax-deferred plan for individuals and families enrolled in high-deductible health plans. To take advantage of an HSA, you must meet certain requirements. Your high deductible must meet IRS limits, you must not be someone else’s dependent and you must not get Medicare. With an HSA, a person can withdraw money, at any age, for qualifying medical expenses. The person receives this money tax and penalty free.
Require Health Insurance Companies to Make the Price of their Plans Easily Available
President’s Obama and Trump have both voiced a desire for insurance companies to make their premium costs more readily available. Potential clients should be well aware of just what they are paying for.
Block-Grant Medicaid to Each State
This sounds more complex that it really is. The new plan would change the way that the federal government dispenses money for Medicaid to each state. Currently, the federal government funds certain amounts of money to certain programs.
Each state has a much better understanding of what programs are in need of federal money and which are not. Currently this is determined from an office in Washington DC and often times it’s difficult to make the right choices.
President Trump believes that by giving each state it’s own block-grant, a large amount of waste will be eliminated. Federal Medicaid dollars will be able to go farther this way .
Allow Purchasing Your Prescriptions from Outside the Country
The President appears to be working toward allowing citizens to buy medicine outside the country. The high cost of prescription drugs is currently one of the leading causes of the inflation of insurance premiums. By allowing individuals to purchase outside the country, Americans will be able to purchase pharmaceuticals in places like Canada. Prescription prices are lower in many other countries.
One good example of potential savings involves a product called the EpiPen. At a cost of over $600 here in the USA, the Canadian price of a single EpiPen is between $100 and $145. Being able to purchase safe brand-name drugs elsewhere, could easily reduce an individuals out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance premium costs are also expected begin to drop as a result.
If you have any questions concerning this or any other insurance coverage, be sure to consult your local independent agent. He or she can offer you most current information and the best prices! We are always available to answer your questions. Simply click HELP!