If you’re willing to put your brain on chill for a few, no matter what side of the debate you are on, here are the nuts and bolts of where things stand today, and where they are expected to go.
If you’re going to gloat, or declare the country a bastion of socialism, stop reading now.
Otherwise, as of today:
Young adults can stay on their parents health plans until age 26.
Children cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. This will transition to all age groups.
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Seniors will continue to receive discounts for medications.
No or limited co-pays or out-of-pocket for preventative services or routine checkups.
No lifetime caps on coverage (in other words, your policy cannot say you’ve hit your limit of coverage as you get ready for another round of chemo).
Insurers must report how much of your or your employers money they actually spend on healthcare, not administrative expenses or profits. In 2010, the limit was 70 cents per one dollar, that now rises to 85 cents per dollar collected.
As we head to 2014:
All Americans should be able to obtain coverage
All can obtain coverage no matter their personal health or family history of health
Sick people cannot be charged more for coverage
Employers with more than 50 workers will need to provide some level of coverage.
Employers with less than 50 can obtain tax credits to help offset the cost of providing coverage.
If you go to the tanning salon, you will pay 10% more -in the form of a tax
There will be the establishment of health care cooperatives or other organizations to ensure all people can get a level of health insurance comparable to those who work for large employers.
You will pay a penalty (or tax) if you opt out of health coverage. This is to help cover the cost of what the insured pay extra in order to cover the uninsured. Your 2014 income tax return will be the source of proof you have coverage.
Unclear is the expansion of Medicaid.
Also unclear is a bunch of other stuff. How much coverage will cost, how much this will cost in new taxes, etc etc. No one knows the answers to this whole deal. You may think you do, but you do not. No one does.
Now we move on.