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This Week in Obamacare

May 17, 2016 // News

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Birth Control Still out of Control

In a unanimous decision on Monday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling saying the court expressed no views on the merits of the pending case involving non-profits affiliated with religious groups in their fight against the ACA’s contraceptive mandate. The court sent the case back to the lower courts in hopes that the parties involved will come to a mutually satisfying agreement.

Sex-Change Operations for All

Sex change operations are on its way to becoming subsidized by taxpayers under the “Non-Discrimination in Health Programs and Activities” rule, which prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability….” Since health providers are prohibited from denying health care or coverage based on sexual stereotyping, this has the potential for becoming costly, since related services must also be covered such as breast implants and hormone therapy.

Mental Health Concerns

Despite the ACA’s attempt to level the playing field for mental health care, it appears that the law has done less to help those suffering from mental health issues than anticipated. Typically, people who have mental health issues lack the ability or resources to access care, even though they may have a greater need for the care.  Recent findings from the National Health Interview Survey collected through the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that, although health insurance participation increased from 2012-2015 for people suffering from “serious psychological distress,” this demographic was still five times more likely to be unable to afford or access medication, often the only help for their condition.

Lying Smokers

Insurers are smokin’ mad. Why? Because people are lying on their marketplace applications when asked whether or not they smoke. Most consumers are aware that smokers pay higher premiums for health insurance than non-smokers, and justifiably so. Almost all states that allow for the tobacco surcharge report much lower than anticipated disclosure of smoking status on application. If caught, insurance companies are allowed to charge the consumer retroactively for their lies. However, federal law prohibits an insurer from cancelling coverage due to lying on the application.

 

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