ACA News

    By Stephen Baird If you were rushed to an Emergency Room with a serious illness or injury, you may later receive bills from the ER, attending doctors, imaging technicians or other providers who treated you. When you experienced your emergency, you may have been able to direct whomever was transporting you to a facility that you knew was in your health insurance network. Or you may have not been capable at that moment to do that. And you may have been moved from the ER to Intensive Care in a Hospital. In any of these cases, it is quite likely that you will receive surprise out-of-network (OON) charges in the mail. The liability that you have to pay these bills depends on the type of health insurance plan that you possess. If your insurance is through your employer, it may be a federally regulated, ‘self-funded’ plan. If this is the case, you cannot use any of the remedies described below. This gaping hole in consumer protection may be closed soon as a bipartisan…
Posted on Apr 4, 2019
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, continues to be characterized by conservative politicians as being a disaster for Americans. Those criticizing it avoid detail, typically referring to the “skyrocketing premiums” and to two remarks made by President Obama: “If you like your doctor, you can keep him,” and “Everyone will save $2,500 on health care costs.” The reason that opponents of Obamacare avoid detail is that an examination of the data shows the health care law has done far more good than bad. First I will discuss the Affordable Care Act critics said and did, then I’ll examine what good it has done, and look at the ACA’s prognosis in light of recent changes incorporated into the tax law. I don't think Obamacare was perfect, but I do think it could have been cured. What Obamacare critics said and did Critics say premiums skyrocketed: Premiums went up for a number of reasons, including changes imposed by Republican lawmakers that increased insurer’s costs. I…
Posted on Feb 7, 2018
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently studied documents submitted by health insurance companies detailing Obamacare premium price changes and the justification for those changes. The study revealed that premiums were increased by an additional 7% to 38% over what they would have been due to action taken by President Donald Trump. Insurers are required by the health care law to reduce copayments, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families with incomes less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In Bexar County, for one plan selected as an example, the deductible was reduced by the insurer from $5,000 (income greater than 250% FPL) to $2000 (250% FPL), $550 (200% FPL) and $100 (150% FPL). The federal government reimburses the insurers for the extra cost that they absorb by these plan changes for those with lower incomes. These reimbursements are estimated to be $7 billion for 2017 and $10 billion for 2018. The language in Obamacare doesn’t…
Posted on Dec 20, 2017
By Melissa McChesney, Center for Public Policy Priorities The open enrollment period for health insurance is extended to December 31, 2017 for Texans who live in a disaster-affected area, or did when Hurricane Harvey hit. That extends the deadlien by two weeks from the regular open enrollment period for health insurance through the Obamacare Marketplace that ended Friday December 15. According to FEMA, the Special Enrollment Period covers Texans in the following counties: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, Dallas, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Milam, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Travis, Tarrant, Tyler, Victoria, Washington, Walker, Waller, and Wharton. These include the Austin, Corpus…
Posted on Dec 19, 2017
No one questions the need to improve upon the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Major changes that could be made include: eliminating the requirement for any employer to provide healthcare for the employees, increasing the range in which subsidies can be provided to at least six times the Federal Poverty Level, and reducing the deductible for the more comprehensive plans to make those plans comparable to the average group plan offered by employers. This would encourage healthy people to purchase plans versus paying the penalty tax, improving the likelihood for participating insurers to be profitable. Alternatively, we have at this moment in history a chance to adopt a health insurance system that would be vastly superior to the current, or a revised version of the Affordable Care Act. Let’s review what this new system could do from several perspectives. Individuals and families would not pay premiums. There would be no deductibles or copays. Everyone would be insured. Medicare…
Posted on Feb 17, 2017
Photo by Adam Borkowski, PhotoXpress.com
Many opponents of Obamacare continue to rehash the same scare tactic about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that they have used countless times in the past. They assert that surely the IPAB will lead to severe rationing of health care, negatively affecting the lives of countless Americans. This claim is not truthful and runs a close second to the statements selected the last two years by FactCheck.org as the winners of the ‘most outrageous pants-on-fire lies.’ Those debunked one-liners argued that the new law authorized ‘death panels’ and represented a ‘government take-over of health care.’ As written in the law, the board will consist of 15 voting members appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. Before submitting his choices, the president is directed to consult with Democratic and Republicans leaders in both houses of Congress. The makeup of the IPAB under the Affordable Care Act, as described by the American Medical Association, …
Posted on Aug 3, 2013