|Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (NASDAQ: MTBC) Ready for New Challenges on Health Insurance Market as Fate of Obamacare Uncertain|
One of the biggest questions after President-elect Donald Trump is officially sworn in is what will happen with the controversial Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare – a law intended to make health insurance more affordable for medium and low-income Americans. Trump himself has often pledged to repeal and replace the law when he takes office, while his pick for Secretary of Health, Georgia Rep. Tom Price is a fierce opponent of the plan and sponsored a reconciliation bill last year designed to cut funding for the program. The bill, which was passed by both houses of Congress but was vetoed by President Barack Obama, would have eliminated cost-sharing subsidies, premium tax credits and federal funding for Medicaid, as well as ended tax penalties for people who failed to maintain health insurance.
Since an outright repeal of the health law would be unlikely without bipartisan agreement, analysts say (http://nnw.fm/H3Hpw) Republicans might opt for a reconciliation bill again, as this would not require a supermajority of at least 60 seats in the Senate to ensure smooth passage of a countermeasure. The big question, however, is what would the Trump administration replace Obamacare with? What would the new health insurance law look like, and what effects it would have? Although the new administration has outlined some principles for reform, it is yet uncertain how these would be enforced.
Trump spoke in favor of creating health savings accounts and giving the state more power to regulate health insurance and Medicaid. In turn, leading GOP members in both houses of Congress have similar suggestions, ranging from tax credits adjusted for age instead of income and household size as the current law provides, and giving the state more flexibility and responsibility in managing Medicaid. Most notably, Republicans suggest the state fund Medicaid with a lump sum instead of paying a percentage of expenses.
Even if these plans have not yet been outlined in great detail, they do have a few common features, such as the use of health savings accounts, the creation of high-risk insurance pools and selling health insurance across state lines. Health analysts say health savings accounts offer tax advantages for people with high-deductible health plans and can potentially be very beneficial for people with higher income. High-risk insurance pools would also be more beneficial for higher-earning people who don’t normally qualify for tax subsidies, but covering the sickest patients separately would indeed stabilize insurance premiums for everyone else who buys insurance on their own. And allowing health insurers to offer policies in another state than that of purchase would give buyers considerably more options, but concerns remain that insurers might choose to operate only in states that have the least consumer protection.
It remains to be seen what the new administration will bring and how it will affect everyone on the market, from doctors and patients to health insurance providers and other companies in the field, including healthcare IT service providers such as Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (NASDAQ: MTBC) (NASDAQ: MTBCP). There are concerns that if the Trump administration completely repeals Obamacare, this might remove the need for a series of services currently offered by healthcare technology companies, such as revenue cycle management or more comprehensive practice management solutions.
Medical Transcription Billing believes the exact opposite. The company’s management feels that it is very unlikely that the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress will completely eliminate insurance for 25 million Americans. The more likely scenario is that the administration will reduce subsidies and eliminate penalties for uninsured people. This, in turn, could lead to some healthy people dropping coverage and insurance companies getting even more strict on payouts, Medical Transcription Billing managers believe.
In this scenario, where doctors would have to fight insurance companies even harder for reimbursements, services such as the ones offered by MTBC will become more valuable than ever, the company’s management thinks. Medical Transcription Billing leverages proprietary technology and a global team of professionals to serve a wide range of healthcare customers, from individual physicians to medium-sized practices. It offers one of the most comprehensive suites of practice management, revenue cycle solutions and electronic health records on the market.
For more information, visit www.MTBC.com
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