As the Affordable Care Act heads into its sixth year, employers are bracing for the full employer mandate and new reporting provisions, while the Obama administration prepares to go back to court. In this issue of “Road to Reform,” we look ahead to see what 2016 has to hold for health care.
While the Affordable Care Act has outlined specific requirements for U.S. residents to have access to and purchase affordable, comprehensive health plans, dental coverage has largely been left in the outfield. As a result, exchanges have implemented adult dental coverage at varying times, resulting in dental coverage disparities across the U.S.
Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan has signaled he will continue to fight the Affordable Care Act by exploring replacement plans. While it is unlikely that Ryan will be able to make any moves on health care reform while President Obama is in office, the 2016 presidential election could open new doors, experts say.
With the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period less than one month away, the latest batch of navigators are ramping up to help consumers sign up for health insurance. Website glitches and poor coordination previously hampered enrollment efforts, but the biggest challenge this time is much more fundamental: helping consumers understand the law.
As employers begin to consider future benefits packages, their attention is turned to the Affordable Care Act’s 40% tax on high-cost health plans. Advocates say the tax will help reduce health care costs by discouraging wasteful spending, while critics say the tax will unfairly raise out-of-pocket expenses for workers.
Initial data show the Independence at Home Demonstration project has the potential to rein in spending, which some Affordable Care Act critics say has been missing from the law. Some industry experts are calling for the program to be implemented at the national level, while others say it might be too early to determine the program’s success and sustainability.
While the health care reform law has gained the backing of some prominent physician groups, surveys and provider commentary in the media show that a majority of doctors hold a negative view of the Affordable Care Act. “Road to Reform” takes a look at past surveys to see how providers’ feelings have changed.
Florida is alleging that the Obama administration is trying to force states to expand their Medicaid programs by threatening to withhold some of their Low Income Pool funding. Some health policy experts say the administration is being coercive, while others say the administration did not put up a strong enough fight.
While the Affordable Care Act aims to reduce health care costs and make coverage more affordable for U.S. residents, research suggests that consumer concerns about costs linger and have caused some to delay needed care. Price transparency tools could be key to the equation.
This year’s tax season marks the first time U.S. residents will have to report their health insurance status, and possibly pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. One tax expert predicts a “bumpy road” ahead.