There has recently been a lot of talk going around that people with pre-existing conditions are about to suddenly lose their insurance or will find themselves paying high insurance premiums that they just can’t afford.
The good news is that for now at least, all these rumors are just false speculation.
Here’s What’s Going On:
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the latest news about healthcare, you may have heard about the Texas-led lawsuit that was filed in federal court back in February. The states involved in the lawsuit, which is slowly working its way through our court system, are asking for a ruling which would invalidate the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) and essentially do away with it once and for all.
This lawsuit in Texas has also opened up another can of worms. This one involves whether or not insurers can once again charge people more for insurance or deny them coverage altogether based on whether they have a pre-existing condition.
How Did This Happen?
In December 2017 Congress voted on a tax bill that also included a section that repealed the monetary penalty for people who did not buy health insurance.
When this tax bill was signed into law, however, it opened a door that according to the Justice Department, also renders other parts of Obamacare unconstitutional as well.
What this means is that the part of Obamacare that was used to keep insurance providers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions could become null and void. It would then allow insurance companies to start either denying people who have pre-existing medical conditions or charge them substantially more to include the pre-existing condition as part of their health insurance coverage.
The One Thing that Republicans and Democrats Can Both Agree On
In reality, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want to see this happen. In fact, several candidates who are up for election from the House and the Senate on both sides are campaigning that they don’t plan to let this happen and will challenge anyone that tries.
The other good news is that this federal court case is moving along so slowly through the court system that even if it ultimately does do away with the Affordable Care Act, it won’t happen this year or even in 2019.
It’s actually one of the few times we can all be happy that the wheels of justice are turning slowly.
What to Expect for Obamacare in 2019
Since all of this is going on, you are probably wondering what exactly will change next year.
Well, the answer actually is – not much with one very big exception
The tax penalty is gone and this is awesome news!
And that’s really about the biggest change you’ll see.
- There is still an enrollment period for Obamacare 2019. This year’s enrollment period runs from November 1st to December 15th.
- You can still purchase your insurance through healthcare.gov.
- You are still covered by your health insurance in 2019, even if you do have a pre-existing condition. If you do have a major pre-existing condition, then make sure you enroll in a plan during open enrollment because for 2019, you’ll still be covered.
And that’s basically it.
I will add that you will most likely expect to pay more for your health insurance coverage in 2019 too, but since premiums have been increasing every year since Obamacare started, I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. Here in Georgia, I would say that you will once again expect to see anywhere from a 30 to 60 percent increase.
What the Future Holds
Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mostly stays the same for 2019, I still want you to think about your health insurance coverage for the future. At some point, Obamacare is either going to morph into something else or it will no longer exist.
That could potentially mean that if Obamacare no longer exists, then state run programs will be available. These state-run programs could then provide health insurance to people who have pre-existing conditions.
At the moment, however, Georgia and some of the other states have not expanded Medicaid, so our state does not have this type of program. If the government were to expand Medicaid into a permanent program though, then states like Georgia could and would offer this type of program, which would open up a way for those who have lower incomes to obtain health insurance.
If these state plans were offered through Medicaid, they could also help to provide coverage to low income residents who cannot afford traditional health insurance and therefore, go without coverage because they just can’t afford to pay it. If done this way, everyone would then have a truly affordable option.
As it stands right now, experts are predicting that by next year 20.70% of Georgia residents will not have health insurance coverage. While this is slightly down from the 22.20% reported in 2014, it still is not acceptable.
Do You Have Questions About Your Health Insurance Plan?
When it comes to health insurance in the United States, I guess you can say that we’re currently in a bit of a holding pattern.
But – what if I told you that you could purchase a plan right now that has nothing to do with Obamacare?
This plan, known as a Catastrophic PPO plan does have some limitations, so it’s important to know that not everyone will qualify. As an example, if you are a diabetic who is insulin dependent you won’t qualify. You also won’t qualify if you’ve recently had cancer or currently have a heart problem.
If your diabetes is treated by a medication like Metformin, however, or you have previously had a major medical condition but it’s been five years since your follow-up and you’ve had no complication, you could qualify, so it’s certainly something you should consider.
A Catastrophic PPO plan is also about half the price of Obamacare, and if you were to purchase it today, you could lock in your monthly premium now at the age you are now.
Health insurance is a complicated industry, but I’m here to talk you through it while providing you with guidance and support. My phone number and email are below and I encourage you to contact me now for a free review of what’s available for you and your family.