One of the most significant problems with the American healthcare industry is called opacity. Healthcare markets are opaque, meaning that the average recipient of healthcare has no way to easily gather information about the healthcare providers available to them. There is precious little pricing information, few unbiased reviewers, and almost no ability to ‘preview’ what care will be like in a given facility.
Nowhere is this problem more prominent than in nursing facilities, which were notorious for having almost no useful information available to prospective residents. ‘Were’ is the operative word; because the Affordable Care Act took large steps to end that problem when it came into effect a few years ago.
The American public is totally divided about the merits and demerits of Obamacare. The whole episode has also become a contentious political issue. However, people who oppose the Health Care Act seldom understand the true benefits that it can bring to the people of America.
The main focus of the Act is to bring as many people as possible under health insurance coverage. When the Act is enforced, people would be adequately covered by health insurance, and enjoy the benefits of Obamacare.
First of all, insurance companies will not be allowed to discriminate based on the pre-existing conditions of applicants. Currently, guaranteed issue is mandatory only in the small group market. Employees who are enrolled in a company with a size of 2 to 50 employees alone currently enjoy this benefit. People who apply for insurance in the individual health insurance market can be denied insurance in many states based on their pre-existing condition. Obamacare seeks to eliminate this practice by requiring all insurers to offer uniform premiums to all applicants of similar age and geographical location, without taking pre-existing conditions into consideration.
Under the provisions of the Act, insurance companies offering individual or group health insurance coverage to dependent children of the policy holder would be required to extend that coverage until the child is 26 years old. Therefore, a number of youngsters can benefit from their parents’ health insurance coverage until they turn 26. This would benefit most youngsters who are struggling to pay for their personal health insurance coverage. In case these youngsters have children of their own, those children would not come under this coverage however. Thanks to the Act, six million young people would now enjoy health insurance coverage.
Obamacare also comprehensively addresses the infamous ‘donut hole’ problem in the Medicare Part D program. From 2010, eligible seniors who entered the donut hole were issued a $250 rebate check. In 2011, they were entitled to receive a 50% discount on branded medications within the donut hole. The prices of generic Part D drugs were also discounted. From 2013, even the cost of branded Part D prescription drugs would be discounted. Presently, Healthcare costs are a fundamental driver of health insurance costs, which leads to coverage affordability challenges for millions of families. There is ongoing debate whether the current law (ACA/Obamacare) and the Republican alternatives (AHCA and BCRA) do enough to address the cost challenge.