It is the sixth year of the ACA, and there are many glitches to the landmark law.
For example, 20 million have bought health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The uninsured rate has dropped to a historic low under the law. Still this means that 29 million people remain uninsured.
Despite all the accolades of the ACA, this uninsured number is glaring. The ACA has a long way to go. Here are some of the ways Hillary plans to fix the glitches in the health care law.
Agressive ACA Enrollment Campaigns
Many people are unclear about their coverage options under the ACA. According to her website, 16 million people qualify for some type of low-cost or free health coverage. These people are clearly not enrolling in ACA coverage. Hillary plans to reduce this number by investing in advertising and outreach to fuel enrollment numbers.
Hillary proposes spending $500 million annually on ACA outreach and advertising. The exact budget allocations are not known. However, $67 million was spent last year on navigator funding. If she can beat this number, then more navigators can seek out those who qualify for health coverage under the ACA.
Lighten Out-of-Pocket Expenses for ACA Consumers
Clinton says she plans to reduce out-of-pocket insurance costs.
Deductibles are one of the costs she’s looking to curtail. There is a need for this. In Tennessee, the least expensive Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans have $5,000 deductibles. This is the amount one has to spend out-of-pocket before Blue Cross chips in with medical costs.
Many families use insurance to help with medical costs, but they find that they cannot use their health insurance to help with costs. Instead, a family might take on heavy medical costs before the insurance company helps.
In addition, Hillary plans to lower prescription costs. With health insurance, generic prescriptions are usually inexpensive. Then there are those people suffering from illnesses such illnesses as HIV.
Current HIV patients face steep prescription drug prices. For example, HIV patients commonly use the prescription drug Daraprim to treat nervous system infections. This is the same drug that the Pharma Bro, Martin Skreli, decided to raise from $13.50 a pill to $750. Look at this link to see how expensive other HIV medications can be.
This is also a cost that needs to be controlled. It makes no sense that the drug Daraprim drugs cost less than 10 cents in India. Of course, this is a drastic example, but unlike other developed countries in the world, the United States lets pharmaceutical companies set their own prices. Maybe Hillary Clinton will institute measures like this to negotiate with drug companies…
Hillary likes the idea of a “public option” as part of the ACA
Do you remember the “public option?” This was when the United States decided to set up a government-run health plan to compete with other private health insurance plans in the health exchanges. The idea was left out of the final version of the ACA passed in 2010.
Hillary is looking to revive the idea, and it might not be such a bad idea. United Healthcare decided to pull out of the Tennessee health exchange. This move left people in 57 counties with the choice of only one health insurance carrier on the Marketplace. A public option in this scenario could help stimulate competition.
Philip Strang is a certified agent/broker who juggles ACA enrollments and writing blog posts on individual health insurance matters.