Broker Check


March 29, 2017

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan withdrew the bill that would “repeal and replace” Obamacare. This means that Obamacare is here to stay.

President Trump's White House announced that they will move on to tax reforms so it is unlikely that the U.S. Senate will initiate moves towards “repeal and replace” Obamacare.

What impact will this have on the wary public?

As we have discussed before, the withdrawn bill would have not touched Medicare. Those on Medicare will continue to enjoy their benefits the way they have been. Furthermore, the “donut hole” under Part D will continue to become smaller and smaller until it is done away with in 2020.

(Seniors on Medicare need to be continually assured on their medical coverage because they pay attention to any slight change in benefits. They know that unexpected medical expenses are surprises they can ill-afford in retirement.)

Employees on employer-sponsored or union-sponsored plans have nothing to worry about their benefits. Their benefits remain the same whether “stay”, “amend”, or “repeal and replace” takes place. Those on a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) may want to consider enrolling on a Hospital Indemnity plan, an ancillary insurance that takes care of deductibles in cases of hospitalization.

Medi-Cal (MediCaid) beneficiaries will continue to receive benefits subject to certain changes that the Centers for Medicare and MediCaid Services (CMS) may impose thru new administrative rules and regulations. Apparently, the MediCaid expansion provision enshrined in Obamacare will remain to be the law enforced on those states that accepted MediCaid expansion. New initiatives lie in the hands of Ms. Verma Sheema, the new head of CMS.

What about premiums and deductibles to those on Individual and Family plans?

They remain stable until the end of the year. We will know how they will fare come July when insurance companies submit their rates for 2018.

Persons with pre-existing conditions will continue to have access to coverage and youths 26 years old and below can remain covered under their parent's plan. These provisions were also included on the withdrawn bill.

The mandates remain. Those with no health coverage will pay a fine.

Covered California remains open for enrollment to those with no health coverage for 2017, and have a qualifying event that will make them eligible for a special enrollment.

About the author: LEO MONSALUD is a health advocate who holds CA license # 0G55218 as well as a Non-Resident licenses for Nevada and Michigan. He is a columnist with The Balita Newspaper.