With new health care reforms undergoing debate and scrutiny, many Americans question what the new plans will do to their wellbeing, their finances, and their families. The future of health care reform is certainly cloudy, and politicians and medical professionals alike are trying to decipher a solution through the haze.
So what does potential reform mean for the average American earner? Prepare for various health care costs to sky-rocket and state-mandated spending to take full effect if these health care reforms pass.
You’ll pay more for a pre-existing condition
Any Trumpcare bill will likely affect coverage for various pre-existing conditions such as asthma and autoimmune disorders. An American Progress analysis of the American Health Care Act estimated that “individuals with even relatively mild pre-existing conditions would pay thousands of dollars above standard rates to obtain coverage.”
The proposed (and failed) Graham-Cassidy bill followed suit. Conditions that were covered as essential benefits under Obamacare were subjected to state discretion under the bill. A CNN analysis of the highly-debated topic found the bill would incentivize states to obtain waivers to drop the mandate for price protections on pre-existing conditions. Their bottom line? “Graham-Cassidy puts an end to the guarantee that those with pre-existing conditions won’t face price increases because of their health problems.”
Where you live will make a difference
The Washington Post declared, “The current bill would give states control over billions in federal health-care spending and enact deep cuts to Medicaid.” Yahoo News declared the bill would affect various states in unique ways, noting that the 140-page measure is, “stuffed with language making some states winners and others losers.”
The Republican party’s Senate amendment would combine money currently used for Obama’s Medicaid expansion and private insurance subsidies and put the funds into new block grants for states. This would give states greater autonomy for how they run their programs and allow them to decide individually what they’ll cover as an essential benefit. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was confident no Democrat would vote for the legislation, because “it hurts people in every state.”
Reform will leave fewer Americans with insurance
A CNN article compares the proposed AHCA and Graham-Cassidy bills to one another as well as Obamacare to help us better understand exactly how we’ll be affected by the proposed legislation.
The CBO report released on Monday said that the Senate bill would likely increase the ranks of the uninsured by 22 million over the next 10 years. The House bill would leave an estimated 23 million fewer Americans covered than under Obamacare.
Your age will cost you
One of the only components of Obamacare left untouched is dependent coverage for children under their parents’ insurance up to age 26. The Balance analyzes that health care in Trump’s America will stay low if you’re both young and healthy.
It will increase your cost if you’re older, when most chronic diseases take their toll. The Graham-Cassidy bill allowed insurance companies to charge seniors five times what they charge younger people, something Obamacare limited to three times. “Your costs would skyrocket if you are a senior who loses Medicaid coverage under the plan. Many seniors need Medicaid to cover the out-of-pocket Medicare costs,” the analysis said.
Pregnancy will no longer be an ‘essential benefit’ for women
The ability for states to pick and choose benefits puts Planned Parenthood and its services at serious risk. Many states will choose to drop pregnancy from the essential benefits list. The American Progress analysis found insurers would charge about $17,320 more in premiums for pregnancy. “It’s going to make it much harder to avoid a pregnancy that you don’t want … and it’s going to make it harder to take care of that baby when you do have it,” Andrea Flynn, a health policy fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, told Time.
Both bills defund Planned Parenthood for one year. Cutting off federal support of planned parenthood keeps women from getting necessary services like breast cancer screenings and birth control. “Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are already banned from billing taxpayer-funded programs for the procedure,” the Washington Post reported.
Your employer may not help with coverage
The ACA allows employers to choose a coverage plan from any state; as a result, when all states were mandated to have the same essential benefits, coverage was reasonably similar. If states are given autonomy to choose the benefits they cover, employers can legally opt to choose a state’s benefits package that cuts their costs.
This is concerning since, according to CNN, most Americans get their health insurance through an employer and not through the government or health insurance exchanges. “Both the House and Senate bill would strip the Obamacare provision requiring larger employers to provide affordable coverage.”
Your mental health may be at risk
Your costs will increase if you use mental or behavioral services including drug rehabilitation. The plan includes $2 billion to pay states for drug treatment. The Balance analysis on the new health care reform states that $2 billion in funding isn’t enough to offset the cuts to Medicaid and insurance companies who drop coverage for mental health services.
The estimated 15 million Americans living with depression will face an estimated surcharge of 208%, or almost $8,500 increase on their insurance bills according to the American Progress analysis.