Key Provisions Of The Health Care Reform Bill
Here are the main provisions of the health care reform bill:
- The legislation would require substantial insurance market reforms that would bar insurers from excluding people for pre-existing conditions and prevent them from arbitrarily dropping policy holders.
- Insurance exchanges would be created where small businesses and individuals without employer-sponsored coverage would be able to shop for coverage. Plans offered on the exchange would have to meet minimum benefit requirements.
- Individuals would be required to obtain health insurance. Those who fail to purchase coverage would face fines of up to 2.5 percent of income by 2016.
- Firms with more than 50 workers who do not offer medical coverage could face fines of $2,000 per full-time employee.
- Medicaid, the government healthcare program for the poor, would be available to everyone with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level, which stood at $10,830 for an individual and $22,050, for a family of four. Many states have eligibility requirements below those levels.
- The bill calls for raising the payroll taxes for Medicare, the government health insurance plan for the elderly, to 2.35 percent from the current 1.45 percent for individuals earning $200,000 or more and for couples earning $250,000 or more. The proposed changes would apply the tax to some investment income as well for those high-income groups.
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