It is important to know how the changes in healthcare reform are going to impact the medical device industry. In this podcast, I cover the basic changes coming and what you should know as you prepare to break into the business. Source: BBC News “Obamacare v Republican Plan Compared”
Obamacare: All Americans are required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
Republican plan: The mandate is repealed under the Senate plan. The House version also repealed but with the proviso that individuals who forgo health insurance for more than 63 days must pay a 30% surcharge on their insurance premiums for a year.
Obamacare: Companies with more than 50 employees are required to offer health insurance or pay a penalty.
Republican plan: This mandate is repealed.
Obamacare: Raised Medicare taxes on the wealthy and imposed new taxes on medical devices, health insurers, drug companies, investment income, tanning salons and high-end health insurance plans.
Republican plan: Repeals most Obamacare taxes and delays implementation of the tax on high-end health insurance plans to 2026.
Insurance for dependents under 26
Obamacare: Requires insurers to allow children under age 26 to be covered by their parents’ policies
Republican plan: Maintains this requirement.
Essential health benefits
Obamacare: Requires all insurance plans to cover certain health conditions and services, such as emergency room visits, cancer treatment, annual physical exams, prescription drug costs and mental health counseling.
Republican plan: Allows states to define what benefits are mandated, or opt out of the requirement entirely.
Pre-existing condition coverage
Obamacare: Prohibits insurers from denying coverage or charging more to individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions.
Republican plan: States can let insurers charge as much as they like to sick people. Allocates $8bn to help subsidise those patients.
Obamacare: Expanded Medicaid health insurance for the poor to cover more low-income individuals.
Republican plan: Phases out Medicaid expansion to reduce federal funding on the programme over the next decade. The CBO says that spending on Medicaid would fall 35% in 20 years.
Obamacare: Insurance companies prohibited from charging women more than men for the same health plan and must provide core services including maternity care and contraceptives.
Republican plan: Insurance companies still banned from charging women more, but states could allow insurers to drop maternity care and contraceptives from basic benefits. Also bans women from using federal tax credits to buy a plan that covers abortion.
Obamacare: Insurers can charge older Americans no more than three times the cost for younger Americans
Republican plan: Insurers can charge older Americans five times as much as younger Americans. States would also be able to set their own ratio.
Obamacare: Provided refundable tax credits for low-income individuals who purchased their insurance on government-run marketplaces and support for some out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Republican plan: Alters formula for tax credits, which will expand the benefit to more middle-class Americans but probably raise the costs for some elderly and less-affluent individuals.