Written by Loren Grush
Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate clause of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), what does that mean for you as a patient?
While not validated under the commerce clause – the part of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to regulate commerce among the States, the Supreme Court has ruled that the mandate is constitutional under the government’s power to tax the population. According to the mandate, individuals will be required to purchase health insurance regardless of their situation. Those who fail to purchase insurance will face the risk of paying a financial penalty.
The ACA – more commonly referred to as Obamacare – has many more provisions that will go into effect along with the mandate over the next decade. While you may not see the changes overnight, within the next five to 10 years, your experience with your health insurance and your doctor will start to change.
The other notable provisions of the ACA include: prohibiting insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, expanding those who qualify for Medicaid to include people and families making up to 133 percent above the poverty line, requiring more employers to offer health care options, as well as the government option, and establishing a government database to story medical records.
Here are the changes you can expect to happen within the next decade:
You have to pay
If you are not paying for insurance through your employer or out of pocket, you will soon be required to purchase health care coverage no matter what.
“You will be required to purchase insurance through an exchange or otherwise, assuming you have the means to do so,” Joseph Piemont, chief operating officer for Carolinas HealthCare System, told FoxNews.com. “If not, it appears there will be a variety of levels of government subsidy to allow you to buy that insurance.”
However, another expert told FoxNews.com that the consequences of not purchasing health insurance will be much more severe.