In 2010 President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA, into law. It was a sweeping piece of legislation. Some of its main points included mandating most Americans to carry health insurance, forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to people based on pre-existing conditions, taking steps to limit premiums based on age and health, and expanding Medicaid coverage.
Obama had championed the bill so strongly that some people begin referring to it as Obamacare. In 2012, 26 states petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the PPACA was constitutional. The Supreme Court accepted the case, and it is expected to release its ruling by the end of June. The ruling is expected to do one of three things: strike down the entire act, leave the entire act as it is, or strike down only parts of the law, like provision that mandates insurance coverage.
Depending on the ruling, health insurance companies may be affected in a variety of ways.
PPACA Struck Down Entirely
A few of the provisions of PPACA that have already gone into effect would disappear. This includes the one that, in some cases, allows adult children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans through the age of 25. Health insurance companies would not need to make any adjustments and could continue with business as usual. Lead prospecting would remain virtually unchanged.
PPACA Allowed to Stand
If the entire piece of legislation is allowed to stand, the effect it will have on insurance companies is not immediately clear. On the one hand, the companies will have to offer insurance to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Although the government will help to subsidize the cost of health insurance, organizations called “exchanges” will also be formed to help control premium costs.
The news, though, is not all bad for insurance companies. PPACA will require many healthy young adults who currently choose not to carry health insurance, to purchase at least a minimum amount of coverage. Since these clients typically require little or no care, their business will become vital to an insurance agency’s bottom line. The most successful agencies will seek out health insurance leads that fall into these categories and engage in aggressive lead prospecting.
Only Certain Provisions of PPACA Are Struck Down
There is a possibility that the Supreme Court will rule that it is unconstitutional to require Americans to purchase health insurance but will allow the rest of the law to stand. This means that insurance agencies would still be required to offer insurance to those with pre-existing conditions, but that they would not have a healthy young pool of health insurance leads to offset the cost of caring for the more medically-compromised people.
With so many different outcomes possible, it’s no wonder that most insurance companies are waiting impatiently for the ruling that could change the way they do business forever.