On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Senate worked in cooperation with President Obama with a vote of 60-39. All Democrats and 2 Independents voted in favor of the new act, and all Republicans voted against it. The vote passed 219-212.
The PPACA reform law requires all individuals to maintain minimal essential health insurance coverage. If citizens do not choose a health plan, they will have to pay a penalty. The only people that will be expempt from the law are people with contrary religious beliefs or extreme financial hardship, a provision referred to as the “individual mandate”.
The PPACA also reforms certain parts of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs, increases insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, is expected to add 30 million Americans into the insurance paying pool and increases national medical spending while lowering Medicare spending.
A majority of the states have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of PPACA for government interference into a persons freedom. As of January 2012, two of four federal appellate courts have upheld it, however, a third declared the law unconstitutional, while a fourth ruled the law prevents the issue from being decided until taxpayers begin paying penalties in 2015. The Supreme Court has scheduled six hours for oral arguments March 26–28, 2012, and will issue its decision by the end of June.
It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court rules in June, and how this affects persons living abroad. International health insurance is available with distinguished carriers, affordable premiums, flexibility in coverage and personal agent services. Whether you are planning a vacation or planning to move abroad, continuous coverage or travelers health insurance is available. It will be interesting to see how existing plans are affected in the years to come while ObamaCare is refined.