The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is being phased in, leading up to 2014 when the health insurance marketplace comes into being. News 92 FM’s JP Pritchard has more in this installment of our weekly series, “Healthcare Impact — 2013.”
What’s in effect now? If you’re already insured, you’re not being charged out of pocket for most preventive care. And parents can keep their children on their plan until they’re 26. Dr. Pauline Rosenau at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston says one problem starting to be addressed now is coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. “Right now most insurance companies charge so much for people who are already sick, pre-existing conditions, that the individuals can’t afford to purchase it.
Full protection kicks in this coming January First. But fully in effect now, tax credits for small businesses to subsidize health insurance for employees. Dr Rosenau says, “The subsidies don’t pay for the whole cost of the insurance, but they do pay for a good part of it.”
Rosenau adds that hospitals are being fined when patients are discharged too early. “Hospitals are penalized if patients have to come back to the hospital within thirty days because they were discharged too early.”
Pauline Rosenau, PhD., is a Professor at the University of Texas-Houston School of Public Health, the Division of Management, Policy and Community Health.
We also spoke with Dr Rosenau at length to get answers to a couple of important questions.