Healthcare News

Sun, Jun 8, 2014

General Legal Issues

Some rights reserved by aesopObamacare was big news. And it still is. We thought we’d check in and see what’s happening in healthcare today.

So, what’s the latest on Obamacare? The deadline to enroll has come and gone. It was originally March 31st, 2014, but was extended until mid-April for those who could show they were trying to enroll near the deadline but ran into technical difficulties. According to whom you talk to, technical difficulties abounded. Some said their experience was better after the December 1, 2013 fixes—but many found they couldn’t complete their application in one sitting. And often, you had to go back and fix things repeatedly because of glitches.

One advantage to those who enjoyed buying health insurance as much as a root canal was that the sales pitch got a little less terrifying because the pre-existing conditions being wiped out allowed many to have more choices in plans with less hoops to jump through. But of course, many found they were now paying more for insurance than ever before and many didn’t have the pre-existing conditions concern at all, because they were young and healthy. Therefore, this health care change did not suit everyone.

In addition, businesses were told that they could not enroll in the small business exchanges this year. This, along with extra expenses or other reasons to not carry health insurance for their employees caused many employers to drop health insurance all together. Again, a boon to some and a big hassle to others. (As you can see—Obamacare has supporters and naysayers just like any other government issue.)

Now, Obamacare has been in effect for many months for some and at least 2.5 for many. The opinions are mixed. Some find their new healthcare to be better than they thought and some are outraged at the cost. Some people never even had to change their plan and couldn’t really tell you they saw a difference. In addition, some people already know they want to pick a new one next year because this one doesn’t suit them.

So, what’s up next for Obamacare? Right now, the Supreme Court is deciding whether to continue the mandatory birth control requirement under Obamacare. The decision is expected shortly.

In addition, many fear that health insurance will cost way more next year as the actuaries run the numbers. This is because the enrollment didn’t have as much age diversity as hoped—some fear younger people did not enroll in high enough numbers to counteract all the new enrollees with pre-existing conditions.

In addition, the small business healthcare exchange should make an appearance this year. No one is actually sure what this might entail and how it will change the market.

All of these changes have changed the futures of many. For instance, health insurance salespeople—some agencies don’t even write the new insurance. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are seeing their practices change in many ways. Then there are the changes that the customers are seeing—changes in coverage, or being dropped all together earlier this year, or just not knowing which plan to choose because they are so overwhelmed by the process. Lastly, some politicians feel that America as whole is being ruined by this healthcare change. Everyone listed here and more are anxiously waiting to see what this year’s enrollment brings to Obamacare.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith is a Lakewood Ranch, Florida attorney with SmithLaw Attorneys. He concentrates in bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area. Call 941-907-4774 to learn more and to ask about our free consultations.

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