The Republican plan to replace the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) is tough on millennials, especially those who are already struggling to make ends meet. While the plan, the American Health Care Act, (AHCA) would save the government money and benefit rich people, it is predicted to leave 22 million people without insurance by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). If you have a major illness and don’t have insurance, you can be faced with bills high enough to bankrupt you.
Medical bills are already a major cause of people filing for bankruptcy in Ohio. Even some people who have insurance are struggling to pay medical bills that aren’t covered. According to findings from NerdWallet Health, in 2013, bankruptcies resulting from unpaid medical bills affected nearly 2 million people.
The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that financial problems can happen to even the most well-intentioned people. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your financial situation and develop a debt-relief plan that’s best for you.
How the AHCA Can Lead to Bankruptcy
Those millennials who have jobs where their employer pays for their health insurance are in good shape for now, but what happens if they lose that job? Few young people can afford to keep up premiums when they are between jobs. The same goes for those who want to go into their own business or try freelancing.
Here are some changes the AHCA hopes to bring that can be devastating to millennials and even lead to bankruptcy:
Taking away the requirement that everyone should have health insurance
Millennials are the age group most likely to gamble on not buying health insurance when not required to do so. While millennials feel they are young and healthy enough to get away without insurance, unexpected medical costs from an accident or a sudden major illness can wipe anyone out financially. If you don’t have insurance and need to have medical care, you will have to pay the full list charges, which are much more than for somebody who has insurance.
In addition, insurance companies need healthy younger people to balance the costs of covering older Americans. When we take that mandate away, we will be left with sick people buying insurance and healthy people staying out of the market. If millennials decide not to get insurance, it will raise the premium cost for everyone and also make it difficult for insurers to stay in business.
Creating problems getting back on insurance
If you don’t have medical insurance for 63 days or more, either because you have lost your job or just can’t or won’t pay for it, you are going to have to pay a lot more to get it again. The AHCA is imposing a 30 percent charge on the premium should you let insurance lapse.
For millennials who rely on Medicaid, there will be major losses. The CBO states the Republican plan will cut $321 billion to Medicaid in the next decade and shift much of the Medicaid burden to the states. Some states may choose to not pay for Medicaid, and, without it, people will avoid preventative care they can’t afford and wind up with more serious illnesses that could have been detected, treated, and even cured early on. Medical costs will increase, especially when more people rely on expensive emergency rooms for treatment.
Defunding Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood provides mammograms and health care for women, as well as contraceptives and counseling for family planning. According to CBO estimates, one year without Planned Parenthood funding would lead to thousands more births for women unable to otherwise obtain contraceptives. Pregnancy and birth is expensive, as is the cost of raising children, especially for millennials who don’t have adequate income and need more governmental services to help.
Increasing costs for older Americans
Too many older people are just getting by on Social Security checks, and the costs for their care, assisted living, and nursing homes must be paid for by someone else. In the long run, a plan putting older generations at risk puts millennials at risk as well. How can millennials shoulder the burdens for aging parents and grandparents when they can’t take care of themselves due to high costs of health care?
Millennials are already discouraged by high insurance premiums, and the CBO analysis shows the cost of premiums would rise by 15 or 20 percent in 2018 and 2019 from the Republican plan.
Not only that, while the ACA gave subsidies to help pay for health insurance, the AHCA will only give tax credits. This means instead of getting a subsidy right away when you buy health insurance, you have to wait for a tax credit when you pay your taxes. If you don’t have the money up front when it comes time to pay your premium, you may not be able to wait for the tax credit to kick in.
Burdening lower earners while benefiting highest earners
Millennials generally earn less than older Americans, and the subsidy for low-income people is going to decrease. Under the ACA, the more you earn, the less of a subsidy you receive. But the AHCA provides adjustments based upon how old you are, not your income, so if you don’t earn enough to pay the premium, you will be left without insurance.
People with high incomes benefit more from tax credits that may move them to a lower tax bracket. Also, the AHCA eliminates a higher Medicare tax for the rich, and the “Cadillac tax” on employer-based health plans exceeding $10,000 in premiums per year for an individual or $27,500 for a family is postponed to 2025.
Contact Us For Help
If you are having problems with medical debts or any other kind of debt, the experienced and compassionate Ohio debt-relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer offer a free consultation to review your entire financial situation. We examine your income, your debts and your goals, and make sure you are aware of all your options. We understand what you are going through and will walk you through the process.
Delaying can only worsen your situation, so call the Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer today! Call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.