The budget office’s first finding is that the GOP bill would mean an estimated 23 million more Americans would not qualify for health insurance coverage by 2026 than the estimated 28 million under the ACA. It is important to note that both figures are projections of the number who would qualify for coverage, not those who already have it. Those now enrolled in the ACA number about 11.5 million.
Lower Deficit, Lower Level of Care
The CBO’s second finding is that the American Health Care Act would lessen the national deficit over those same 10 years by $119 billion, while also lowering the level of benefits for those who remain covered. The CBO’s purpose is to provide unbiased analysis of budgets and other proposed legislation.
Making Coverage a Choice
The American Health Care Act would allow states to waive or alter coverage for an array of services now covered by the ACA. Defined as “essential health benefits,” these areas include emergency care, hospitalization, mental health, pregnancy, prescription drugs and more.
The bill ends requirements that all individuals acquire health insurance and businesses with 50 or more workers offer benefits. It also eliminates funding for expanded Medicaid benefits and allows insurers to raise premiums for older Americans.
Essential Health Benefits
In earlier research of the ACA, insurers reported that many families and even singles who purchased health insurance were not covered in several of 10 categories that made up the essential health benefits. Statistics reported by insurance companies included:
- Maternity: A large number of policy holders, 62 percent, did not have maternity coverage.
- Substance abuse: Some 34 percent did not have coverage for addiction services.
- Mental health: These benefits were not included in 18 percent of those with insurance.
- Prescriptions: About nine percent of the insured did not have prescription drug benefits.
AHCA Progress in Congress
Millions of Americans are following the progress of the American Health Care Act, including 1.5 million Californians covered by ACA. The bill has been handed off to the Senate for debate and revisions; meanwhile, the Senate is working on a proposal of its own.
Whether you are single or the head of a family now covered under the ACA, the new bill will definitely impact you. Get more information about coming changes in our blog. Contact us for family and individual healthcare insurance to meet your needs.