July 14, 2017

The Senate Health Care Bill v2.0

They revised it, but did they improve it?

by Caitlin Martin

Photo Credit: Chamomile Tea Party

What’s New in the Bill?

Benefit requirements just got a weight loss plan!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurers meet some minimum requirements, including the requirement to cover 10 essential health benefits. Here’s a review of those benefits :

  1. Outpatient care
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  5. Mental health and substance abuse treatment
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventive and wellness services
  10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

The new bill allows insurers to offer plans with less coverage at cheaper rates so long as they offer at least one plan that meets the ACA standards. This is likely to affect access to coverage.

Opiod Funding

The ACA makes no provision for opiod funding. The new bill promises $45 billion to the states to deal with the opiod crisis — this is up from the $2 billion for one year in the original bill, but is still much lower than what is needed.

Taxes

The ACA taxes industry and wealthy individuals to fund expansion of coverage. The new bill eliminates two tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, but would continue a tax break for high-earning health insurance executives.

Catastrophic Health Plans

These are plans that are available under the ACA. They are high-deductible, catastrophic plans with low premiums. There are no federal subsidies with these plans that are mostly used by healthier people who few care needs. The new bill give tax credits to purchase these plans and allows anyone to purchase this coverage.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

The ACA does not mention HSAs, but the new Senate bill allows people to use their HSA to pay for premiums.

Market Stabilization

The ACA has no provision for market stabilization, but the new Senate bill provides another $70 billion in addition to the $112 billion in the original bill.

Medicaid Cuts

The new bill maintains the original bill’s cuts to Medicaid, but would allow additional spending in areas of a state where an emergency has been declared. For more on the Senate Healthcare Bill:

CBO Scores Senate Healthcare Bill

Where Your Senators Stand

Where Do They Stand on Healthcare?

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