After a long, hard-fought battle, the health care reforms initiated by President Obama are now slated for enactment. On Tuesday, March 23rd 2010, President Obama signed the $940 billion Healthcare Overhaul Bill, an event which will be considered one of the major events, if not the major event, in his presidency.
The HealthCare Overhaul Bill ensures that 95 percent of Americans, including 31 previously uninsured citizens, will have health insurance, and will take through 2019 for all aspects of the legislation to take effect, although some aspects of the bill are effective immediately. This is the most far-reaching health legislation since the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, leading to financial benefits in both the public and private sectors. The most important aspect of this bill is that it aims to expand insurance coverage for all while being budget neutral, according to legislators that support the bill.
President Obama stated in a speech regarding the Health Care Overhaul Bill, “Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America. And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.”
Insurance for All Americans by 2019
The bill immediately changes some insurance coverage rules, while other changes will be more long-term. Short-term changes include regulations indicating that insurance companies cannot revoke coverage due to severe illness and cannot limit lifetime or annual benefits. Insurance companies must also cover children with pre existing health conditions, and parents will be able to keep their children on their insurance plans until the children reach age 26. This legislation will also regulate insurance companies from issuing premium hikes, and insurance policies will be made more affordable by providing the largest middle class cut for healthcare in history.
Other effects that start taking effect early include the ability of Senior citizens enrolled with Medicare to now get discounted drugs, which is part of the $80 billion in concessions agreed to by pharmaceutical companies.
Most of the changes included in the Healthcare overhaul legislation will occur in 2013. In 2013, Americans earning more than $250,000 will witness an increase in Medicare payroll taxes. Starting in 2014, employers that have more than 50 employees will have to provide coverage for most of its employees starting in 2014.
Also starting in 2014, states will be able to set up exchanges, where insurance customers can choose from different coverage types and insurance companies.
In 2019, the government will also impose taxes on high cost Cadillac policies. By the year 2019, the new legislation is expected to fulfill its obligation of providing health care to 31 million uninsured Americans across the country.
Medical Practices Can Claim Valuable Stimulus Dollars With EMR
Earlier in his administration, President Obama introduced a stimulus bill which provides added measures for Health Care Providers. The stimulus bill indicates that doctors and practices will receive grants for implementing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software.
According to the HITECH act, EMR will be mandatory in 2015; before then, practices will receive stimulus funds, up to $60,000 per year, for converting to an EMR system. MTBC provide its EMR free to practices. MTBC’s EMR is fully updated with the latest features, is CCHIT compliant, and has received praise for its intuitive design and implementation. For more information on MTBC’s EMR, contact MTBC at (866) 266-MTBC (6822) or firstname.lastname@example.org