Since March 2010 when the enrollment period opened up, much has been written, commented on and deciphered about the Affordable Healthcare Act. Still the confusion continues. The new law mandates that every individual have health insurance, but what about the cost? Is it free? Can I keep my existing doctor? What happens if I do not choose to have health insurance? Some of the changes include new rules in the insurance market to increase participation in health plans by expanding eligibility, offering protection against loss of eligibility, improving the quality of services and expanding choices for insurance coverage.
Prior to the new law going into effect, there were approximately 50MM uninsured Americans. The new law is expected to decrease that number by over 30MM people. The sources of coverage will also change due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, the major source of healthcare coverage in the United States came from employers. That will remain the same under the new law only at a lower overall percentage. The newly created insurance exchanges will handle 14% of healthcare coverage, gaining clients from the previously uninsured ranks. While some may choose to continue to proceed without health insurance there will be a penalty in the form of an additional tax starting at $95 per individual or 1% of their taxable income in year one. That penalty will increase in 2015 to $325 per person or 2% of taxable income and will increase once again in 2016.
To help translate and answer questions how ACA will affect individuals, employers, and insurance companies, Dr. Karen Minyard from the Georgia Health Policy Center joins us in the studio to share her in-depth knowledge of the new law. A nurse and hospital administrator for over 13 years, Dr. Minyard is the Director of the GHPC at Georgia State University and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Listeners may find more information about the GHPC at www.gsu.edu/ghpc.
Dr. Karen Minyard
- PHD, Business Administration, Georgia State University
- MSN, Nursing Administration, Medical College of Georgia
- Bachelor of Science, Nursing, University of Virginia
- Board Member, National Network of Public Health Initiatives
- Board Member, Physician’s Innovation Network