Health Care Law Will Not Cover Everyone, Says Benepath CEO

Despite what Americans think, Obama health care will not cover everyone.

“We hear this all the time, that the health care reform bill will cover everyone and that we must get insurance in place by 2014 or pay a fine. We know that the Supreme Court just backed ObamaCare, but what many do not know is that the changes coming in 2014 will not cover everyone,” said Clelland Green, RHU, CEO and president of Benepath.

Government figures suggest that the expanded insurance coverage will be available for 30 million uninsured individuals in the U.S. However, there are at least 26 million individuals who will still not have coverage. That figure includes illegal immigrants and people who cannot pay out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act will expand the number of Americans with health insurance. Medicaid is due to be expanded as well to cover health care expenses for lower-income individuals and those with a disability. Tax credits, available in 2014, are designed to help middle-class U.S. residents buy health insurance coverage.

“Given that the Supreme Court backed the law, it means that roughly 93 percent of legal American citizens will have health insurance in place by the year 2016,” said Green. Nonetheless, there will still be millions of illegal individuals who will not qualify for coverage, and many legal residents who will go without it, some by choice and some because they make too much money to qualify for assistance but cannot pay for coverage. Groups that are likely to remain uninsured include illegal immigrants, potential Medicaid applicants and middle-class Americans unable to pay for insurance.

There are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. today, but there is no provision for them in the new health reform law, which makes one wonder about the Obama Administration saying illegal immigrants are welcome in the U.S. “They will not be able to sign up for Medicaid, will not be eligible for tax credits and will not be able to use online exchanges. Why? Because they are not citizens,” Green said.

Potential Medicaid applicants will hit an all time high of about 77 million by the year 2016. Even though changing the system is supposed to streamline the application process, it is expected that many who qualify will get left behind in the dust, largely due to all the changes, which makes the application process a nightmare.

Even though the middle class will get tax benefits to help them buy health insurance, there are some families that make too much money to qualify for those credits but still do not have quite enough money to buy private health insurance.

“There are a number of wrinkles that will need to be ironed out before the government can truly claim their health care reform will insure everyone in the U.S. Despite that, many view this as a step in the right direction,” said Green.

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