Top 10 Reasons To Like Health Care ReformHealth Care Reform got a big lift from the Federal Supreme Court ruling that the individual mandate could be considered a tax, and therefore, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could remain intact. This means that the reform plan will continue to roll out, with a January 1st, 2014 start date. Many provisions have already been phased in, but the removal of health condition underwriting, allowing people with existing health conditions to enroll in regular health insurance plans, starts in 2014. Even though this reform bill has flaws, there are plenty of good things and positive changes that it contains.

Here Are The Top 10 Reasons To Like Health Care Reform

  1. Allow families to keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26
  2. It reduces the price difference in plans for younger people and older people – thereby reducing the costs for older people
  3. It encourages businesses to create employee wellness programs to improve employee health
  4. No Cap on the medical benefits that can use if needed
  5. It reduces the Medicare prescription donut hole for drug costs
  6. The number of health plans to choose from is reduced to 5 – fewer choices should make it easier to choose
  7. Government will help lower income families pay for health insurance – through subsidies and credits (more about this in an upcoming post)
  8. All preventive services are free – promotes taking care of ourselves by getting annual checkups
  9. It forces the health care industry to shift from “caring for the sick”, to “keeping people healthy”
  10. Nobody can be declined for health insurance

The last item in the list is the most far-reaching change of the Affordable Care Act.  Enabling everyone to get health insurance regardless of their health condition is an important step in improving the health of Americans.  Once everyone has insurance, we need them to see a doctor to begin taking preventive steps to ensure their ongoing health.  These preventive care services will now be free, so cost should not keep people from taking care of themselves.

Changing the mindset of the health care industry from being sentries on the lookout for danger, to architects overseeing the fortification of a castle to protect it from disease will be a slow process. The transition to keeping people healthy and rewarding medical professionals for preventing illness, will be a major shift for the industry, and for consumers as well. This new focus will help us change the health habits of America, and prevent us from becoming a country of couch potatoes.

Some other good things that did not make the top ten are:

    • Small Business tax credit for providing health insurance to employees
    • Creation of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan for people with health conditions prior to 2014 when nobody can be declined
    • Enabling insurance companies to offer policies across state lines
    • (If I forgot any, put them in the comments section below.)

As a healthy type I diabetic, I look forward to these changes, and the day that I too can get regular health insurance. But I know that there are dark clouds on the horizon, and not everything about ACA is perfect (for more on the Top 10 Reasons To DISLIKE ACA). With the election coming up this fall there will be a lot of mud slinging regarding health care, and promises by the Republicans to repeal ACA. Although I support the Republican cause, I think there’s enough good in version of Health Care Reform, so I think we need to fix the holes and problems with ACA, not start over again.

So as we go through the next 18 months until 2014, there will probably be a lot of news and comments about health care reform. At SPF Insurance we’ll cut through the clutter and post about those changes that will impact you, and let you know what you can do to protect yourself, and benefit the most.

Stay tuned for more.

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