Key Differences and Similarities between the ACA and AHCAThe GOP's Health Care Plan to Replace Obamacare
Key Differences and Similarities between the ACA and AHCA
The GOP’s Health Care Plan to Replace Obamacare
On March 6, the Republican Party released its legislative plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare. The GOP explained the purpose of the bill stating, “We’re delivering on our promises to repeal and replace Obamacare with President Trump’s proposed health care reforms.”
What healthcare is going to look like under Trump’s administration has been a source of uncertainty in the industry. While this bill leaves many questions unanswered, such as if the plan will allow people currently covered to keep their coverage and how much it will cost, it does answer many questions about the similarities and differences between Obamacare and what many republicans are calling the American Health Care Act, or AHCA.
Update: May 4, 2017- After the bill was pulled from the floor in March, Republicans have a new found trust of the American Health Care Act passing the House. After amending pre-existing conditions, the GOP believes they have the votes to pass the AHCA.
Pre-Existing Conditions Will Still Be Covered
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to cover pre-existing conditions. This is still the case.
(Update: May 4, 2017 Trump promised to add an amendment spending $8 billion to fund high-risk pools. Pools provide coverage if you have been locked out of the individual insurance market because of a pre-existing condition, and are subsidized by a state government. The premium is up to twice as much as individual coverage.)
Adult and College Aged Children Will Still be Able to Remain on Parents’ Plan Up to 26
People who are under 26 years old can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan under both the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act.
There Will Still be No Lifetime Cap
Before the Affordable Care Act many plans set a lifetime limit, a maximum dollar amount that were covered in the plan. The ACA prohibited this, and it is still prohibited under the AHCA.
There Will Still Be Tax Credits for People Who Buy Insurance
The AHCA includes an advanceable tax credit, but it is based on age and family size rather than income level.
Insurance Will No Longer be Compulsory
The plan eliminates the individual and employer mandate penalties. This means people will no longer be fined for lack of insurance, and large companies do not have to pay if they do not offer insurance to their employees. However, the plan allows for insurance companies to charge if a person was uninsured for 63 continuous days during the previous year.
Medicaid Expansion Will Stop
The ACA’s plan to grow Medicaid is being halted. Along with other limitations, new enrollment freezes in 2020.
“Abortion Funding” Is Restricted
Any facility that offers abortions will not receive federal funding. This includes defunding Planned Parenthood.
Taxes on the Health Care Law Would Be Repealed
The plan removes the taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices that the ACA used to pay for their plan. The plan will get funding from somewhere else. The GOP House Website explains, “We are still discussing details, but we are committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with fiscally responsible policies that restore the free market and protect taxpayers.”
Insurance Plans Would No Longer Have to Cover Basic Care without Exclusion
The AHCA eliminates what the Obama administrations called “essential health benefits”- or the requirement for insurance companies to cover basic care without exclusion. The AHCA allows limited policies that are only in case of major illness or injury.
There are a lot of questions up in the air about the future of health care under the Trump Administration. All that can be concluded for sure is that change is coming. To stay up to date on new rules, regulations and policies under the new administration, medical industry leaders can gather at conferences or join our mailing list for regular updates.