Obamacare is on the chopping block. If this feels like déjà vu, that’s because this isn’t a new idea. Republicans have tried to repeal the healthcare reform law since 2010. And were back at it in early July. If successful, repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare’s official name) could leave more than 20 million Americans without health insurance.
Here’s what else could happen if we go back to a world without Obamacare.
Treating common conditions could get more expensive.
Obamacare made it illegal for insurance companies to DQ or upcharge people who had certain medical conditions before signing up for a new insurance plan. If you have a common one like asthma or high blood pressure, that includes you. And 133 million other Americans. Without Obamacare, you’d probably still qualify for insurance offered in your HR packet. But your company could choose to stop covering your particular condition. Or impose a waiting period before they do. Meaning you could be on the hook financially.
Small companies could stop offering insurance.
If you’ve got at least 49 coworkers, Obamacare requires your company to offer insurance. Without those protections, you could have to find your own. Which may not have all the benefits you want. Before Obamacare took effect, individual plans with good maternity and mental health coverage were hard to come by. So if you want those services, you may have to pay out of pocket.
Mom and Dad might drop you from their plan.
A popular Obamacare provision is that you can stay on your parents’ insurance until age 26. About 2 million adults are taking advantage. Without Obamacare, companies get to choose if they want to keep this benefit.
Repealing Obamacare could mean lots of its protections might go away or be harder to come by. Pro-Obamacare Dems mostly think that means you’ll pay more money for healthcare in the long run. The Trump admin and other Republicans who want to repeal it generally think the opposite — that we’re already overpaying for coverage we don’t need. And less-specific laws would allow people to pay less if they want to.
Stay tuned. And start thinking about giving your emergency fund a little more love just in case.
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