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THE FUTURE OF OBAMACARE UNDER THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

By: Nicola Heredia, CHS Marketing Coordinator

Since its first enactment in 2010, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has made significant changes to the U.S. health care system as a whole. Insurance coverage has been made available to all Americans, while the marketplaces have created a potentially competitive arena that, in theory, provides more economical options to individuals.

Although Obamacare has been faced with intense criticism, no one can deny that the U.S. health care system is in desperate need of reform. Whether the future of the country continues to develop Obama’s plan or Americans are presented with a completely new approach all depends on who is selected to be the next U.S. president in November.

"This is probably the most frustrating public policy dilemma we’ve got right now in the country," says Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina's Democratic insurance commissioner, in a USA Today article. "Businesses and health insurance companies have invested so much into the ACA, there is a tremendous urgency to having Congress and whoever the new president is fix the law."

WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND

Hillary Clinton – Stay the Course and Expand

When it comes to Obamacare, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has no plans to revoke Obamacare. Instead, she has indicated that she wants to grow the existing reform law, particularly by focusing on areas where there has been success.

Reducing prescription drug price inflation, expanding Medicaid programs and focusing on health care initiatives in rural, low-income areas have been a major focus of Clinton’s health care platform.

"I'm just hoping that reality begins to sink in when she is inaugurated," said Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s first Health and Human Services’ secretary, in a Business Insider article. "If the law is not going to go away, then let's make it work."

If elected, Clinton’s main obstacle will be attempting to revise the system with a potentially Republican Congress. Without bi-partisan efforts, it will be hard to expand or revise the law at all.

Donald Trump – Repeal Obamacare and Revise Insurance Regulations

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s seven-point health care plan focuses on completely repealing Obama’s ACA law. Once that is complete, Trump plans to focus on the insurance industry in an effort to expand American's access to coverage.

Allowing the sale of insurance across states, encouraging the use of HSAs and enabling Americans to purchase cheaper prescriptions outside of the U.S. are just a few of the initiatives that Trump has laid out in his plan.

As Obamacare faces some obstacles in the upcoming open enrollment season, experts believe that attention needs to be paid to the American health care system regardless of who the next president is.

Whether Obama’s predecessor opts to build off the foundation that his administration has created or the new individual in charge aims to start from a blank slate, the current system will inevitably be changing. Although the direction remains unknown until the fate of the elections is decided in November, Americans can expect health care to be an ongoing topic for years to come.

GAP INSURANCE RISING IN POPULARITY AS DEDUCTIBLES INCREASE

By: Nicola Heredia, CHS Marketing Coordinator

Instead of relying on a savings account to help cover the financial burden of high deductibles, many insurance companies are offering additional policies to cover excessive out-of-pocket costs. Gap Insurance is a coverage option that can be purchased by consumers who are currently enrolled in high deductible plans.

Gap plans typically have limited benefits that regardless of an individual’s situation, the policy will pay funds up to a specific amount. With high deductible plans on the rise, individuals are looking for other options to cover themselves to avoid paying a $6,000 deductible, and more in some circumstances.

Insurance premiums are relatively low, making them an affordable option in comparison to paying high out-of-pocket costs. For those suffering from costly chronic diseases, purchasing an additional insurance plan to provide extra financial coverage seems like a no-brainer.

Unlike traditional insurance plans, this type of limited coverage is not regulated by the government. This allows insurers to be selective, ask specific health questions and ultimately, deny coverage if they see the individual as too much of a risk.

For additional information about the growing trend of gap insurance, click here.

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