Key Takeaways:

1. Changes to laws regarding pre-existing conditions and reductions in Medicaid spendingcould result in higher premiums or loss of coverage.

2. High-income earners may benefit from the repeal of two Medicare taxes.

3. If you or a loved one is concerned about the impact of health care reform, a health advisor can help them understand and maximize their insurance coverage.

The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (ACHA) is the first step of a proposed three-pronged strategy to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Here at Better Health Advisors, we’ve been receiving many questions about the bill. John Samuels answers four of your most pressing questions about the status of health care reform and what it could mean for you.

1. What’s the status of the bill right now?

The Senate has indicated that instead of voting on the House bill, they are in the process of writing their own version of the legislation. Once drafted, it only needs a simple majority vote to pass in the Senate. If the Senate passes a new version of the bill, it will need to be reconciled with the House’s version in a conference. It will then be sent back to both chambers to be voted on again, all before it can make it to the Oval Office.

2. What’s all this talk about pre-existing conditions and what does it mean for me?

States would be able to apply for waivers allowing them to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions under specific circumstances. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it could become “more difficult for less healthy people (including people with preexisting conditions) in those states [who adopted the waiver] to purchase insurance,” due to rapidly rising premiums.

3. Will I lose my Medicaid coverage?

The House version of the bill would roll back the Medicaid expansion of the ACA and would reduce federal dollars given to states for Medicaid spending. Fourteen million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid by 2026. This is expected to be a key point of contention in the Senate.

4. Should I expect changes to Medicare?

Medicare is left largely untouched in the House’s bill, except for the repeal of two taxes. Beginning in 2023, high-income earners would no longer have to pay the additional 0.9% payroll tax surcharge for hospital insurance. Additionally, the bill repeals the 3.8% tax on unearned income, which would go into effect this year.Better Health Advisors has a dedicated team who is closely monitoring the bill and can help you better understand what health care reform could mean for your health. An advisor can help fill in the gap between the treatments your doctor recommends and what your insurance policy will cover. If you are concerned about how you or a loved one will be affected by health reform, Better Health Advisors is here to help.