How The Federal Tax Law Affects Healthcare Coverage in 2018

     It will be ‘business as usual’ for healthcare with the main components of the Federal tax law going into effect in January 2019. What is still in play for 2018? Subsidy assistance for those who qualify, the penalty for not having insurance, and guarantee issue for those with preexisting conditions. In California, the Open Enrollment Period to get a health insurance plan is extended to January 31, 2018.
     How the lifting of the federal mandate will affect healthcare markets is unclear. The GOP, however, is elated at the removal of  the cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act.
     “Obamacare’s coercive individual mandate represents perhaps the worst example of the federal government violating individual freedom and liberty,” Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
     The American Academy of Actuaries, in a warning to congressional leaders, stated that if the mandate is eliminated, “premiums would increase as a result, reducing affordability and eroding preexisting condition protections.”
     In California, it is estimated that 1.7 million fewer individuals will be without health insurance over the next decade with the repeal of the mandate.  Experts predict many young, healthy people will drop coverage if it is not required.