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Children of Immigrants Suffer Too – Part 6

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HEALTH CARE:  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

 Health care reform builds on an electronic health care records incentive program.  This means that beginning in 2011 hospitals and physicians will receive subsidies for electronic health records (EHRs).

Tax exemptions for charitable hospitals will also significantly change.  Hospitals will now be required to provide “sufficient” charitable benefits to the community to warrant tax-exemption status.

Significant changes in the fraud and abuse funding enforcement enlarging government funding will occur.

The following changes for young adults, small business owners, workers in large companies, low-income earners, pre-existing conditions and for the elderly will occur.  ALL of these groups have parents, children, siblings or grandchildren who will be affected within the immigrant nuclear family.

YOUNG ADULTS

Now 30% of those between ages 19-29 who are uninsured will have to buy insurance that will cost them more and will have to stay covered or pay penalties.  If you are under 26 you may be able to get insurance through your parent’s policy.

ELDERLY

Ten million seniors are now in Medicare Advantage plans. Extra benefits may be cut out and co-payments increased.  Those earning over $85,000 will pay higher Part B premiums.  If you have medicare and prescription-drug coverage you will pay less IF you reach the doughnut hole coverage gap.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

If you have over 50 employees in your company you must now provide benefits or pay penalties.  After 2014 as an employer you would be eligible for only two years of tax credits to help purchase coverage.  Those with 25 or less employees may be eligible for tax credits to help buy coverage.

WORKERS IN LARGE BUSINESS

Ninety-eight (98%) of companies with 200 or more employees currently offer employees health insurance benefits.  Premiums will be more expensive and since it is likely that most will not qualify for subsidies, they will be stuck with the plan.  New plans grandfathered will have to meet minimum requirements.

LOW-INCOME EARNERS

Sixteen (16) Million Americans will be added to Medicaid.  Even with subsidies buying insurance will strain your budget and may even exceed 8% of your total income with the cheapest plan.  If you earn less than $88,000 a year you will be eligible for subsidies to help buy coverage.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Thirty-six percent (36%) of Americans were charged higher premiums or turned down due to pre-existing conditions in 2007.  Now that young adults who are healthy will be paying insurance, this group will pay the same as anyone else in the same age group.  Insurers will not be able to put annual or lifetime limits on coverage.  The healthy will help pay for those that are not.

CONCLUSION

An increase in 32 million Americans who will be demanding health care services means that the government needs to consider wellness clinics as well as emergency treatment.  This program is basically a level plan equalizer of society; a one-size-fits-all program.

Sources

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Martindale-Hubbell, “Counsel to Counsel Health Care Law Alert” (April 15, 2010)

Time “America, the Doctor will see you now” (April 5, 2010)

Immigrant in Hospital, http://www.warde-jones.com/images/REPORTAGE/Immigrant.jpg%20copy.jpg, May 11, 2010

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