Friday, October 29, 2010

Private Health Insurance and Federal Reform

Major changes are coming to health care coverage in the United States. Learn how they affect your health insurance for individuals and families.

In what was one of the most controversial political debates in recent decades, Congress passed a health reform in March 2010. Nearly 2000 pages of the bill, the new law affects everything on tax policy for private health insurance policies. While some of the provisions of the Bill will come into force during 2010, most of the major changes, such as general health care mandate will be phased over the next four years.

How to Buy Health Insurance Today

Now families have two options to find private health insurance. They can participate in a group plan offered by an employer or other organization. The other option is to buy an individual health plan insurance.

Group insurance is usually cheaper than individual policies. When the group plans, insurers can spread their risk among many policyholders. While some policyholders may have chronic illnesses or are expensive emergency care allowance to compensate for healthy individuals who pay premiums but rarely have health coverage for medical treatment.

Most insurance plans are sponsored by the employer, but the alumni associations and business groups can also offer access to group policies for the benefit of membership. For families who can not find health insurance through work or other group insurance, individual health insurance may be your only option for a private health plan.

Unfortunately, individual health insurance quotes can be much larger than its coverage of the plan. Without a larger group to make up credits for individual health insurance plans often charge higher premiums. In addition to individual health care plans do not offer the same protection group health insurance, when it comes to pre-existing conditions. As a result, individuals and families with pre-existing conditions are often denied coverage, and must apply for the status of a large swimming pool, or go without medical coverage.

The Future of Private Health Insurance

Beginning in 2014, all citizens & legal residents of the United States will be necessary to maintain medical health insurance. Some families will be eligible for public health care under an expanded Medicaid program, but most will continue to use private medical health insurance.

While the healthcare debate included much discussion of generating a national medical health insurance, in the finish, the public option was not included in the final version of the health care reform bill. Although the bill does not generate a universal healthcare system run by the government, it does mandate national health coverage.

Businesses employing over 50 workers will be necessary to offer group insurance to their employees. Those that don’t comply face a $2,000 per worker fine. In addition, individuals & families who refuse to buy healthcare coverage in 2014 will even be fined. The fine amount will increase yearly until it reaches $695 per individual, $2,085 per household or 2.5 percent of the household income, whichever is greater.

To help offset the cost of private health insurance, the government will provide subsidies for families earning between 100-400 percent of the federal poverty level. Families earning less than the poverty level are eligible free health insurance through state Medicaid programs.

Health insurance for individuals & families will even be available through government mandated exchanges. It is expected that the creation of state-run health insurance exchanges will, among other things, encourage competition & provide more opportunities for affordable health insurance.

Other changes affecting private health insurance are provisions that eliminate preexisting condition exclusions, cost-sharing for preventive care & healthcare coverage caps.

As federal and state governments start work to implement the provisions of national health care reform, there remain unanswered questions about the cost & Constitutionality of universal healthcare. However, like the passage of Medicaid & Medicare, it seems likely that the 2010 Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act will have an enduring impact on private health insurance in the United States.

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