How the Healthcare Reform Impacts You

More than 30 million Americans are likely to benefit from the new health care coverage bill signed into law recently. The bill was cleared with a 219-212 vote by the senate a few days back after an extended period of discussions and debate.

Coming on the heels of other health care reforms, the $940 billion plan brings new hope to many Americans who have not been able to claim any aid from the government for their health care expenses. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will modify the insurance coverage for children and senior citizens too. One significant change here is that young people will still be covered by parental insurance policies up to the age of 26. This eliminates the pressure on them if they are unable to find jobs before this but require expensive medical treatment.

The aim of the government is to control the cost of health insurance and keep it within affordable limits so that more Americans can take advantage of them. In addition, fairer and more equitable insurance will be encouraged by ensuring that differential charges for certain sicknesses are done away with. Insurers will also no longer find it as easy as before to withdraw plans from policyholders when they fall sick. From 2014, insurers will also be prohibited from denying coverage based on existing conditions.

Several Medicaid provisions have been extended to enhance the reach of the health insurance system to more Americans. Guaranteed insurance coverage has also been given to patients who are participating in clinical trials. This is expected to boost research, as more patients will now be willing to enroll for trial programs without affecting their insurance coverage. Several lesser known ailments may find a remedy if research improves.

Lifetime caps have been lifted on insurance coverage. This will allow patients who require repeated courses of expensive treatment to undertake a complete cycle of treatment without prohibitively high costs deterring them.

Restrictions have been imposed on the purchase of health insurance directly from the exchange, especially for immigrants who are not legally residing in the country. Subsidies have also been announced for specified income earners if they wish to purchase insurance from exchanges.

According to sources within the government, the bill hopes to bring down health care costs and to keep more Americans within the government backed health care network. In criticism of the bill’s provisions, the Republican stand is that health care premiums will shoot up leading to higher costs in the long run and that the system is against capitalism.

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