As a health, life, and disability insurance agent in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina, I am often asked about different components of health care reform and its impact. Its a complicated subject. Some of the components of health care reform have already been implemented, such as well care covered at 100% and covering preexisting conditions for children (both of these items resulted in higher insurance premiums). A good deal of the more controversial components are slated to begin January, 2014.
A few of the big changes to begin in 2014 include covering preexisting conditions for adults with the premiums the same as that of "healthy" adults, lower deductibles, and standardizing the health plans. Carriers will have a Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze plan. Notice that the names are all expensive precious metals.... Most of the people I have spoken with in the insurance industry are of the opinion that this will drive the cost of insurance premiums up as their names would suggest.
Many small business owners have recognized the cost savings of having a higher deductible plan such as an HSA - those high deductibles will be eliminated. In my opinion, that alone will have a large impact on the pricing of premiums. We already saw a significant increase in premiums with the implemented changes.
A fear is that this will end up reversing the desired effect - many small business owners and individuals will be priced out of the health insurance market. Yes, there will be subsidies for those that are near the poverty level. However, millions of self employed and micro business owners that are successfully able to support their families and don't need government assistance may find it difficult to afford their new monthly premiums come January 2014.
Blue Cross Blue Shield has done a great job putting together information on health care reform that you can visit. From there you can also go to links to government sites on health care reform.
If you would like information on health, life, or disability insurance please call me at 919-943-5577, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my website at www.healthinsuranceraleighnc.com.