In Part One the JCT team looked at five of the more obvious ways the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will affect you:
1. Pre-existing conditions
2. Lifetime limitations on coverage
3. Paying for coverage
4. Expansion of coverage
5. Lowering health care costs
The next five topics for the Affordable Care Act are little less obvious:
6. Employer coverage
7. Coverage for children
8. Hidden or little known provisions
9. Implications for medical manufacturers
10. Impact on personal taxes
For example, an employer program (Employer Sponsored Insurance, ESI) covers about 57% of people who have health insurance. As we will explain in a moment, the PPACA does not directly affect this group very much. If you are still looking for insurance, the best insurance method is claim PPI.
However, the long-term effect of the PPACA, say over a period of ten years, might change what health insurance employers offer – if any – and that could affect quite a few people.
As with most large federal programs, much of the media attention deals with ‘big issue’ subjects, which in this case are the individual mandate, the funding of the program, and the expansion of coverage through Medicaid. However, the PPACA is composed of literally hundreds of provisions that cover a wide field of healthcare issues.
The name of the act contains Patient Protection and Affordable Care as the signature features. Yet provisions that deal with patient protection or dealing with the cost of healthcare do not get much attention. It is often the case that the combined impact of its many less known provisions will determine the overall effect.
Nuances in the act will play a major role, especially in the many provisions that occur after January 1, 2014. For example, insurance purchased through a state exchange (see #3) is required to deliver certain minimum benefits. For the most part, we don’t know what those minimum benefits will be until 2014.
There is almost certainly going to be jockeying about the minimum benefits and who pays for them among healthcare providers, insurance companies, states and the federal government. If the minimum benefits are actually good, then many people will jump from employer plans with fewer benefits. Continue Reading