It has been in the back of my mind for awhile now and with new parts of the plan rolling out in this first quarter of 2013, it is time to understand just what Health Care Reform means for me and for each of us. This morning I found a very helpful article at CNN.com as a first step to fully understanding the changes, pros and cons.
I'd like to begin a dialogue here so that we all may understand the changes and how best to prepare ourselves for wellness- financial and physical.
So here are the things that stand out for me at this point:
1) Supreme Court called this a tax while passing the bill. Justices state that the US Government cannot require citizens to purchase insurance, however, they can assess a tax on those who do not. This comes in the form of a penalty, which begins in 2014 and increases in 2015 and again in 2016. I have calculated that for my husband and I ( and I suspect most people) the penalties are significantly less than what we currently pay for health insurance, so I am not sure it's an adequate incentive to purchase health insurance.
2) High income individuals (over $200k annual income) are being increasingly taxed to help pay for this plan.
3) Insurance companies will suffer financially, certainly passing on their increased costs incurred by complying with the mandates of this bill to their customers, us. I cannot help but think the quality of health insurance coverage is going to suffer under this bill. Employers will be incentivized to offer lower cost plans to their employees, which cuts into the insurance companies revenues. In addition, they must cover adult children to age 26, must add preventative care services at no cost, must remove pre-existing conditions clauses and more.
4) There will be insurance premium subsidies available through insurance "banks." Great, but let's remember who pays for federally granted subsidies..... us.
There are many layers to this bill and this is just a scratch of the surface. Please comment on what you know, what you wonder about and what concerns you have. Also, share what you think is great about health care reform. Let's all move through this together, and come out WELL on the other side.
Kimberly Henrie is a wife, mother, grandmother, personal trainer, fitness instructor, yoga teacher, podcaster, voice over talent and a wellness enthusiast. She likes to approach life healthfully, but in a way that is easy to integrate into the lives we live today. Watch this blog for easy solutions to fit into our fast-paced, convenience driven lifestyles. Kim strives to bring peace, a sense of balance and acceptance to what is going on around us so that we can enjoy all that life has to offer.