money·2 min read

What Repealing Obamacare Could Mean for Your Wallet

Nov 3, 2020

Some lawmakers have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (other names: the ACA, Obamacare) since 2010. That could result in more than 20 million Americans losing health insurance. Here’s what else could happen if we go back to a world without Obamacare.

Is ‘doc appointment’ all over your calendar?

  • Your bills could go up. The ACA made it illegal for insurers to DQ or upcharge for pre-existing conditions (which as many as 133 million Americans have). Without Obamacare, you’d probably still qualify for insurance at work. But your company could decide to stop covering your particular condition. Or impose a waiting period before they do.

  • Caps on how much you can pay for coverage each year or over a lifetime could go away. Not good if you have an illness like cancer or hemophilia that typically requires long-term, expensive treatment.

Do you work for a small company?

  • If you work for an employer with 50 or fewer employees, repealing Obamacare could wipe out their requirement to offer insurance. 

  • Pre-Obamacare, individual plans (meaning ones you don’t get from work) with good maternity and mental health benefits were harder to find. So you may have to pay out of pocket when (or if) you need them.

Are you still on mom and dad’s plan?

  • Now, you’re allowed to stay on their insurance until age 26. Without that Obamacare provision, each employer would get to make their own rules.

theSkimm: Repealing Obamacare could mean its protections go away or become harder to find. Pro-Obamacare Dems think that means you’ll pay more for healthcare. Republicans who want to repeal it generally think the opposite: that people are overpaying for coverage they don’t need. And less-specific laws could allow people to pay less if they want to. Stay tuned. And start thinking about how you’d adjust your budget if you need to.

Subscribe to Skimm Money

Your source for the biggest financial headlines and trends, and how they affect your wallet.