Understanding Biden’s Healthcare Plan
BY Anna Porretta Updated on October 13, 2022
You may have heard that a new healthcare plan is being rolled out by Joe Biden. But what is Biden’s plan for healthcare? Biden has said that his plan will insure more than 97% of Americans by introducing a Medicare-like public option for individuals and families. He also says his plan will strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by increasing marketplace subsidies. But what other changes is he planning on making? Take a look at a few key points below.
What is Biden’s healthcare plan?
The Joe Biden healthcare plan involves a number of important aspects. The main goal of his plan is to create a public option, improve the Affordable Care Act, reduce prescription drug costs, make it easier for people to access Medicare, and put an end to surprise billing. Even though many people are concerned about the Joe Biden healthcare plan cost, there are a lot of benefits included in this plan. These are the main points of Biden’s healthcare plan:
Create a public option
One of the major pillars of the Joe Biden healthcare plan is to create a public option. Health insurance companies often charge high premiums, and it is important for people to have other options that are more affordable. By creating a public option, people can compare the cost of the public health insurance plan with the cost of a private one. That way, health insurance becomes more affordable, and more people can have access to healthcare.
Improve the ACA
Joe Biden also wants to improve Obamacare, also called the Affordable Care Act. Even though it is true that the number of uninsured individuals has shrunk since the Affordable Care Act was passed, the most recent presidential administration weakened the ACA. Now, Biden wants to improve the quality of insurance exchanges, making it easier for people to find the right plan. Joe Biden also wants to increase subsidies for health insurance to make it easier for people to afford care.
Put an end to surprise billing
Surprise billing has been a significant issue during the past few years. Countless people across the United States have had to declare bankruptcy because of their medical expenses. Surprise billing refers to the practice of patients receiving unexpected medical bills from out-of-network providers. This could include doctors, pharmacies, or labs. Even though Congress has not been able to pass legislation banning this practice, Joe Biden wants to find other ways to put an end to this nasty surprise.
Reform pharmaceutical pricing
There has also been a major push to reform pharmaceutical pricing during the past few years. Prescription drug costs have soared to record highs recently, and it is very difficult for people to afford the cost of the medication they need. Some people find themselves choosing between rent, food, and their medications. Now, Joe Biden is passing legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate with prescription drug companies. This could make it easier for people on Medicare to bring down the cost of prescription medications, but there are also pushes to make prescription drugs more affordable for everyone. With countless people across the country depending on prescription drugs to survive, this would benefit everyone.
Lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60
Even though there are not a lot of specifics available yet, we know Joe Biden wants to reduce the age for Medicare eligibility to 60. That way, people can qualify for government health insurance at a younger age. If the age for Medicare eligibility drops to 60, this means that approximately 20 million more people would immediately qualify for Medicare. This could help them save money on the cost of health insurance, particularly if they are no longer getting health insurance through their employer.
Does Biden plan to protect Obamacare?
In short, yes. He plans to strengthen Obamacare while Trump had previously focused on weakening the law. Biden plans to strengthen the ACA by lowering costs for those who buy plans on the exchanges.
Currently, the subsidies for the ACA are based on the cost of the middle-coverage “silver plan”, where consumers are responsible for 30% of healthcare costs for covered benefits. Biden proposes determining subsidies on “gold plans” where are the next tier up of coverage, where enrollees are responsible for paying 20% of the cost for covered care.
He also wants to increase subsidies by capping the amount people have to pay for their coverage at 8.5% of their income. Currently, this cap doesn’t apply to those making over 400% of the federal poverty line. He wants to make sure that this cap applies to everyone in the US. This means no American would have to pay more than 8.5% of their annual income on health insurance premiums.
Biden also backs the implementation of a Medicare-like public option for health insurance coverage.
Like Trump, Biden wants to step in and lower drug costs. While proposing many changes, the Trump administration was not able to put any large-scale policies into place. Biden says he will limit launch prices for drugs with no competition. He also says he will cap prescription drug price increases to inflation as a condition to participate in Medicare and his proposed public option for individual and family insurance.
What’s Biden’s COVID-19 healthcare plan?
In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Biden created a 3-month long special enrollment period that reopened the federal enrollment period from February 15th through August 15th 2021.
Biden has also outlined a plan to respond to COVID-19. According to the White House, the national strategy for the COVID-19 response includes 7 goals:
- Restore trust with the American people
- Mount a safe, effective, comprehensive
- vaccination campaign
- Mitigate spread through expanding masking,
- testing, treatment, data, workforce, and clear public health standards
- Immediately expand emergency relieve and
- exercise the Defense Production Act
- Safely reopen schools, businesses, and travel
- while protecting workers
- Protect those most at risk and advance equity,
- including across racial, ethnic, and rural/urban lines
- Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats
Find a health insurance plan that meets your needs
What is Biden’s plan for healthcare? Above are just a few of the most important pillars that he seeks to accomplish. Right now, everyone needs to find health insurance they can afford. If you are uninsured or looking to switch your coverage in response to COVID, eHealth is here to help you find a plan that meets your needs during this unprecedented time. Our team of licensed agents can help answer any questions you have and find a health insurance plan that’s right for you. To compare all ACA plans available to you and see if you qualify for an ACA subsidy, compare individual and family health insurance plans today!