Well, it’s been one year since the health care reform law passed. Probably the best thing to come out of it so far is that insurance companies can’t drop sick kids for pre-existing conditions. (The amount of bad karma the insurance drones have built up over the years for that heinous injustice will take centuries to work off.) Adults with pre-existing conditions are still waiting for the same protection.
Insurance companies are feeling the pinch of having to live up to the new medical loss ration. Eighty-five percent of every dollar they take in will have to go for patient care and improving the quality of care. Alas, in the short run, some companies are dropping benefits as insurers raise rates in compensation.
Medicaid expansion is underway, including matching federal funds for long-term care services, money for home health care, and for attending services for the disabled.
High risk pools are being established in some states to establish temporary insurance for people who have been denied health insurance polies due to pre-existing conditions for six months. The premiums for this coverage range anywhere from $140 to $900.
For the rest of this year? People with an income of $85,000 a year or couples who make at least $170,00 will have to pay higher premiums. Small businesses that qualify for tax credits under the health care law can start to apply them. And Louisiana will see a $300 million expansion of Medicare funding.
Of course, for many people, 2014 is the end of the world. (Unless the Mayan calendar is right and we’re all toast in 2012.) That’s when most Americans will be required to have health insurance or face a fine.
What’s the analysis? Just what we knew it would be. Growing pains. Some things are working. Others are not. And we have a presidential election looming. Expect a lot of debate on health care, especially from the Republicans and a roll back of the most hated measures if Obama proves to be a one-term president.