What you need to know about the American Health Care Act

The Obamacare replacement has a new title: the American Health Care Act. Republicans revealed their replacement on Monday and here are what the proposed changes will mean for individuals and businesses.

It keeps protections for pre-existing conditions, other popular aspects

It was one of the more widely debated aspects of the Affordable Care Act, the repeal-and-replace legislation still covers those with pre-existing conditions.

Young adults can still stay on mom and dad’s plan until age 26 and essential health benefits remain, such as maternity and preventative care. There are no limits for insurance companies.

What if you choose not to have insurance?

Americans will no longer be penalized for not having insurance, but it allows insurers to levy a 30 percent surcharge for a year on the premiums of those who let their coverage lapse, CNN reports. The plan will hope to incentivize people to keep insurance.

Planned Parenthood affected

The plan would also target Planned Parenthood, rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants — a key priority for antiabortion groups, the Washington Post is reporting.

Rolls back Medicaid expansion

From the New York Times: The House Republican bill would roll back the expansion of Medicaid that has provided coverage to more than 10 million people in 31 states, reducing federal payments for many new beneficiaries. States will continue to get federal funding until 2020, after that it will be reduced.

The Times notes the GOP plan hopes to undo income-based tax credits, taxes on people with high incomes and the penalty for people who do not have health coverage.

Also, larger companies are no longer obliged to provide insurance for employees.

Health savings account contributions can increase

The current law puts a cap on health savings accounts at $3,400 for an individual and $6,750 for a family per year. Beginning in 2018, the GOP plan increases it to $6,550 for an individual and $13,100 for a family.

Cathy Hirko
Cathy Hirko is managing editor, news, for the Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business. Email her at chirko@cpbj.com.

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