The healthcare scenario is going to change significantly because of the reform bill passed by the Obama administration. Health insurance will become compulsory for the majority of the population and failure to get it could lead to a penalty. Though many of the changes are still far away, you should start thinking about how you will adjust to the new system.
Healthcare insurance coverage would change under the new law, and the biggest benefit would be for those who have serious health problems and are not insured. It will help many people who currently do not have sufficient insurance cover and have to be selective even for life saving medical treatments. The new law would also mean that your insurance policy cannot be revoked for arbitrary reasons if you get sick. However, these rules will not come into effect immediately and it would take at least six month before people can benefit from some of the new rules.
Though your existing insurance coverage will be valid even after the new rules are introduced, some restrictions will apply to older insurance policies as well. There will be certain limitations on your out of pocket expenses too.
Another impact that you should expect is a longer waiting time when it comes to doctor appointments. The new law would give insurance to more than 30 million people who were previously uninsured. Many of these people would seek treatments they could not afford earlier and the medical infrastructure of the country will take some time to catch up with this huge change.
You will also need to look at some changes in tax laws related to healthcare. Come July, there will be a 10% tax on tanning services. Further, a couple with annual income of $200,000 or more will have to pay a higher payroll tax for Medicare. Tax-free medical flexible spending account will be capped at $2,500 a year from 2013 so that people can’t use health related savings for other expenses.
To find out more about how much you will be spending on healthcare under the new law and what other direct impact it will have on you, you can visit kff.org, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s site. The Department of Health and Human Services website also provides a lot of information. Other good sources to get up to speed with the new regulations are healthreform.gov and medicare.gov.