Mandate or Not To Mandate…

One of the many issues revolving around the ACA is the mandate that you either have insurance or pay a fine. The logic was that by forcing everyone to have coverage, although considered by many to be coercive and unfair, it would level the playing field in terms of the number of healthy people versus sick people in the market.

The mandate or fine for Americans who do not purchase health insurance is $695 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever amount is larger. The fine was intended to keep insurance prices lower because more healthy people would buy in thus paying more in premiums than the insurance company pays out for their care which in terms helps subsidize the cost of treating sicker people. It was meant to be high enough to make consumers think about skipping coverage yet not as expensive as actually purchasing insurance.

Supporters of the mandate argue eliminating the fine will likely result in a significant increase in premiums, which would in turn substantially increase the number of uninsured Americans. It is also believed that this move could drive some insurers out of the market place completely making the options available to consumers even more limited.

On the other side of the argument, The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that repealing the mandate could lower the deficit by $388 billion over a decade, while the number of people with health insurance would decrease by 13 million by 2027, the nongroup insurance markets would remain stable and average premiums would increase by only about 10%

So what is the answer? Yet to be determined by the CBO, JCT, the President, insurance companies, medical providers and pharmaceutical companies.

In the meantime, individuals need to take control of their health and the way they manage their healthcare. Become proactive rather than reactive. Find ways to stay healthy NOW instead of fighting to get healthy after diagnosed with an illness or disease. Have easy, affordable access to physicians when they need them rather than having to wait days for an appointment or end up in an urgent care or emergency room after hours for the cold or flu. Virtual Healthcare Solutions provides a series of packages that address those times so you can connect with a physician when you need to from wherever you are. For more information, contact Susan Lehmkuhl @ 623.256.7270

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