By Marion Gil |Staff Writer|
Obamacare implemented rules to provide health care to all those who do not currently have it, open enrollment began Oct. 1.
Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), is designed to give the American people better medical insurance, as well as make it more affordable for those who are not currently insured.
The policy will make insurance plans cover more than before, making insurance companies pay for previously optional things like prescription medicine and mental health care among other things.
The plan will impose restrictions on the amount of out-of-pocket money patients need to pay. Businesses with more than 50 employees are required to provide healthcare coverage, or be dealt a penalty of $2,000 per employee.
To be able to afford to implement these changes, the government is cutting payments to hospitals as well as creating new taxes for certain people, including insurers and medical device creators.
Under the effects of ACA, opponents of the policy predict that college students will suffer from increasing premiums, loss of coverage due to new regulations, less money for education due to changes in priorities of state funds and other effects.
“I think it’s going to be costly for many students to have to buy into insurance even with possibly reduced fees,” said Katherine Brobst, a Nutrition major at CSUSB, “as many of them support themselves or are presently uninsured.”
Students will benefit from the part of the ACA program that allows them to stay on their parent’s healthcare program up to the age of 26, which is predicted to alleviate some of the financial burdens that students face upon their graduation.
Students who make less than a certain amount annually will be eligible for free medicaid.
Most colleges require that students either purchase healthcare through the college or remain under their parent’s healthcare plan.
Starting in 2014 college students, among others, will be required to obtain their own insurance or pay a tax penalty. A student who does not wish to remain under their parent’s plan or purchase healthcare through their college, will be able to use the ACA exchange options.
Because of the cut in funds, hospitals will cut the salaries of their workers, resulting in lower pay for nurses, physician assistants, doctors and others, according to thehealthcareblog.com.
The cut in salary combined with the lowered reimbursement to doctors threatens hospitals with the loss of many doctors, who are considering early retirement or a change in field, according to thehealthcareblog.com. With the loss of so many physicians, the need for nurses to take up the role of primary care provider will become greater.
This means that while nurses will take on more responsibilities, they will also be compensated for their extra time and effort, according to fcer.com. Patients will see more benefits, because the ACA requires that insurance pay for previously optional coverage such as; prescription drugs and giving birth according to slate.com.
While many fear that with the cut in funding to hospitals will result in poorer healthcare, others are hopeful that the ACA will be able to provide them with affordable and reasonable insurance. An estimated 33 million uninsured Americans can benefit from the ACA.
To find out more about what the ACA offers, visit their site at healthcare.gov.