President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of promises regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare, during the campaign, primarily saying he would have it dismantled. Here are five things to keep in mind.
1. Experts say don't expect the entire law to go away.
There are about 400 parts to the Affordable Care Act and some actually had bipartisan agreement. Such as mandating insurance companies cover preventative care; like mammograms, prohibiting insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get sick, denying you coverage for a pre-existing condition or billing you into bankruptcy because of annual or lifetime care caps.
2. It's doubtful Obamacare would be gone by spring.
It will take time for lawmakers to draft changes that are sure to pass both houses. So, as long as it's still the law, you're still required to have health insurance and, if you chose not to this year, the penalty will most likely still be in effect on your 2016 tax return.
3. Trump's plan for substituting ACA would encourage people to buy insurance with an expanded use of health savings accounts. This would allow people to save money tax-free to pay for health care costs. He also wants to allow you to deduct health insurance premiums from your income taxes.
ACA already allows this in some cases. You can take tax deductions for medical and dental expenses that exceed 10% of your annual Adjusted Gross Income using a Form 1040, Schedule A. This includes deductions for most medical and dental costs for you, your spouse, and your dependents. Most people won’t take this deduction, but if you’ve had a lot of medical expenses or your income was lower than expected it can help.
4. Trump also wants to allow insurance carriers to sell across state lines and he wants transparency in medical bills, so patients know actual prices and can shop for cost-effective care.
5. About 235,000 Ohioans get insurance from the federal marketplace www.healthcare.gov.
Six insurance carriers dropped out of the Ohio program, leaving just 11 to cover the state.
In Northeast Ohio, there are five to choose from. You have until December 15th to find more affordable coverage to start January first. And, as of now, those tax subsidies are still in effect to help defray the cost for those who qualify.