More Changes to Healthcare System Began January 1
Matt | On 02, Jan 2011
Americans can pop bottles for the new year and for more changes that will take effect from the healthcare overhaul legislation passed in March.
As you know, the healthcare reform efforts will take place over a number of years. There were a few notable changes in 2010, such as the ability to stay on your parents insurance until age 26. Also, families who have children with pre-existing conditions don’t have to worry about losing their insurance.
Now that 2011 is here, health insurance companies will have to get “leaner” about the way they operate. Now, at least 80 percent of the money they collect from premiums has to be spent on real health care. That’s a powerful rule because for years the executives in health insurance have made money hand over fist. Now, the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars we spend per month has to be directed back to us. What a novel concept! lol..
The other major change is for seniors on the prescription drug plans. The government is working to close the “prescription donut hole,” which is the amount above what the government will pay for seniors medicine unless they are catastrophically ill.
Here’s a quick example of the “donut hole.”
Medicare will pay a percentage of Jane’s prescriptions up to $3,000. Once Jane reaches the $3,000 limit, she will have to pay ALL of the next $3,000 of her prescription costs until she hits the $6,000 mark of total payments. At that $6,000 point, the government kicks back in with their payments.
That’s a basic example and those numbers aren’t accurate, but it will give you a decent picture. It’s a shitty thing because a lot of seniors don’t have the money to cover that gap, or the “donut hole.” This is one of the major items that the healthcare law is aiming to fix.
There are other smaller changes that went into effect on Saturday. Again, you can visit the handy list for more details.
The 112th Congress will take office on Monday. There are some of them who still want to repeal the entire healthcare law as it stands. They feel that it’s encroaching on free enterprise and gets in patients’ affairs too much. As more of these changes take effect, expect more blowback from members of Congress who want to continue to pad the pockets of the health insurance companies … all at YOUR expense!