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What the Health Care Reform program will include

By Edited Feb 4, 2016 6 16

It has been passed and signed by President Obama. Now to gather as much information about it to learn how it will help us. The plan will be phased in over the next 10 years, with some provisions taking until 2020 to be fully enacted. In reality, there will probably be many changes to the bill, as it actually gets put into place. But it is a start.

In 2010 it will:

  • Set up a high risk health insurance pool to provide uninsured people with medical problems access to affordable coverage
  • Require all insurance plans, within 6 months, to allow dependent children to remain on their parents policies until the age of 26. In addition insurers will be prevented from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage. They will also only be able to cancel policies due to fraud.
  • Small businesses with up to 25 employees will get tax credits to help them get and keep coverage for their employees.
  • Medicare participants will get a $250 rebate on their prescriptions to shrink the out of pocket expenses they have for medications.
  • Reduce Medicare payments to facilities and home health providers.
  • Tax indoor tanning facilities 10%.

In 2011 it will:

  • Provide the ability to disabled individuals to get a modest cash benefit through a long term care insurance program that will enable them to remain in their homes and cover nursing home costs
  • Medicare recipients will get a 50% discount on brand name drugs, as part of narrowing the prescription coverage gap.
  • Pay doctors and general surgeons an 10% more for practicing in underserved locations.
  • Freeze payments to Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Increase funding to community healthy centers which provide care to low income and uninsured people.
  • Require employers to report health care benefits on employees W-2 tax statements
  • $2.3 billion fee to be charged to drug manufacturers, increasing over time

In 2012 it will:

  • Create non profit insurance co-operatives
  • Medicare Payroll Tax will be expanded to include unearned income. That will be a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families making more than $250,000 per year ($200,000 for individuals).

  • Medicare payment reforms will be initiated by encouraging hospitals and doctors to join together in organizations that are geared to be quality driven and more accountable for results.
  • Penalize hospitals with a high rate of preventable readmissions.

In 2013 it will:

  • Reduce administrative costs by standardizing paperwork
  • Limit tax-sheltered flexible spending account contributions.
  • Sales tax will be charged on medical devices although many everyday items will be exempt.

In 2014 it will:

  • Prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or refusing to renew their policy
  • Creation of health insurance exchange programs
  • Provide income-based tax credits for most consumers receiving their coverage through the exchanges, further reducing their cost
  • Medicaid coverage expanded to cover up to 133% of the federal poverty line, or income of $29,327 for a family of four.
  • Require everyone to purchase health insurance or face a $695 annual fine. There are some exceptions for low-income people.
  • Penalty to employers with more than 50 workers if an employee gets their coverage through the exchange and receives a tax credit.

In 2018 it will impose a tax on employer-sponsored health insurance worth more than $10,200 for individual coverage or $27,500 for a family plan.

In 2020 the prescription coverage gap in the Medicare prescription benefit is totally phased out.



Apr 2, 2010 4:44pm
Way to make the front page! Great breakdown of information. I am pro-health care reform, but don't like the penalty. They do that now with Medicare Part D prescription coverage and it is a lifetime penalty. They had to "sneak" that in when they drafted the Part D legislature. I'll be curious to find out over time what things were left out and see if this really makes a difference. A lot of my friends are uninsured.
Apr 2, 2010 4:59pm
This will all be repealed when the Republicans take back control of Congress in the Fall, and the White House in 2012. Good compiled information, but the truth is that most of this will never see the light of day.
Apr 2, 2010 5:57pm
Nice, uncomplicated info. I, too am pro-health care reform, but have read nothing but negative for so long that this is a nice change. Hopefully it will all just get better for us. It has been too complicated for too long. Thanks for your research.
Apr 2, 2010 7:45pm
I compiled this information after reading various things and being unable myself to figure it all out.
Apr 3, 2010 4:27am
I avoided this topic for the most part, but now that it passed I'm trying to learn more about it. Nice info here. I'm very indecisive about this issue. I don't think I like it too much. I think they should have focused more attention on employing people so they can afford health care rather than hide the symptoms like this. I also am extremely confused how health care and health insurance all the sudden became one in the same.
Apr 3, 2010 8:12am
As you say, it is here now, and we need to know what is in it. As I learn more I plan to update this article.
Apr 3, 2010 8:43pm
Excellent easy to understand breakdown. Very thorough. You deserve front page!
Apr 3, 2010 11:08pm
Excellent article on the health care reform.
Apr 4, 2010 8:48am

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I'm pleased to see an easy-to-understand synopsis of this program.
Jul 12, 2010 7:22am
Good list. It will be extremely interesting to see what happens with this topic over the years. This is a start, but, in my opinion, needs to be heavily edited and worked over to ensure that the reform is what's best for our country.
Jul 12, 2010 7:22am
The bill needs to be edited, not the article! :)
Jul 12, 2010 11:20am
I shared with people as clear an understanding of the bill as I could. The bill isn't perfect, and won't be a 'cure all' for the ills of our health insurance system. As I learn of changes, I will update the article.
Aug 12, 2010 8:40pm
Nicely laid out information. It has been rather confusing trying to keep up with what is what. I think we need reform, but I'm not convinced this bill was the way to go. Regardless, we'll have to see how much actually gets implemented and enforced. There are so many ways to "beat the system"; working with medi-cal I have seen this first hand. It's ridiculous.
Sep 17, 2010 2:49pm
Thanks for such an informative article. It's nice to read it without getting all of the opinions thrown in. I have no idea whether this will improve the situation or not, but unemployment is not the major problem with our current healthcare crisis. After several decades of doing absolutely nothing, it's nice that someone finally pushed something forward.
Sep 23, 2010 8:59pm
I am a Health Insurance Broker in Ca. Rates use to be $100 or so for individuals and $300 or so for families. Now it is about $300 for individual and over $1000 for families. Re quote your Insurance annually. It is so out of control. If you are I. CA get a quote at edailyhealth for free. Most people thi k the Health Care Reform will increase there taxes - 81% are wrong per Associated Press.
Read InsuranceNOBS
Jan 4, 2013 4:46am
Thanks for this simple explanation. This page has been bookmarked. :)
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