What the Health Care Reform program will include

In 2010 it will:

  • Set up a high risk health insurance pool to provide uninsured people with medical problems access to affordable coverage
  • Require all insurance plans, within 6 months, to allow dependent children to remain on their parents policies until the age of 26. In addition insurers will be prevented from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage. They will also only be able to cancel policies due to fraud.
  • Small businesses with up to 25 employees will get tax credits to help them get and keep coverage for their employees.
  • Medicare participants will get a $250 rebate on their prescriptions to shrink the out of pocket expenses they have for medications.
  • Reduce Medicare payments to facilities and home health providers.
  • Tax indoor tanning facilities 10%.

In 2011 it will:

  • Provide the ability to disabled individuals to get a modest cash benefit through a long term care insurance program that will enable them to remain in their homes and cover nursing home costs
  • Medicare recipients will get a 50% discount on brand name drugs, as part of narrowing the prescription coverage gap.
  • Pay doctors and general surgeons an 10% more for practicing in underserved locations.
  • Freeze payments to Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Increase funding to community healthy centers which provide care to low income and uninsured people.
  • Require employers to report health care benefits on employees W-2 tax statements
  • $2.3 billion fee to be charged to drug manufacturers, increasing over time

In 2012 it will:

  • Create non profit insurance co-operatives
  • Medicare Payroll Tax will be expanded to include unearned income. That will be a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families making more than $250,000 per year ($200,000 for individuals).
  • Medicare payment reforms will be initiated by encouraging hospitals and doctors to join together in organizations that are geared to be quality driven and more accountable for results.
  • Penalize hospitals with a high rate of preventable readmissions.

In 2013 it will:

  • Reduce administrative costs by standardizing paperwork
  • Limit tax-sheltered flexible spending account contributions.
  • Sales tax will be charged on medical devices although many everyday items will be exempt.

In 2014 it will:

  • Prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or refusing to renew their policy
  • Creation of health insurance exchange programs
  • Provide income-based tax credits for most consumers receiving their coverage through the exchanges, further reducing their cost
  • Medicaid coverage expanded to cover up to 133% of the federal poverty line, or income of $29,327 for a family of four.
  • Require everyone to purchase health insurance or face a $695 annual fine. There are some exceptions for low-income people.
  • Penalty to employers with more than 50 workers if an employee gets their coverage through the exchange and receives a tax credit.

In 2018 it will impose a tax on employer-sponsored health insurance worth more than $10,200 for individual coverage or $27,500 for a family plan.

In 2020 the prescription coverage gap in the Medicare prescription benefit is totally phased out.

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