The Affordable Care Act required all American citizens to have health care or else pay a fine on the next year’s taxes.
Now the individual mandate has been eliminated.
Since then, insurance plan enrollment has fallen by nearly 3 million people. And the increasing number of uninsured individuals is threatening healthcare margins.
How can hospitals and practices prepare for these coming challenges? One way is to implement health care loans for uninsured patients.
Individual Mandates were Good for Business
Before the individual mandate, people were denied coverage, charged for pre-existing conditions and old age, and refused coverage for certain benefits.
The individual mandate’s main goal was to encourage young people to get insurance. This helped offset the expense of covering the very sick or very old.
And it worked. Only 10.9% of Americans were uninsured under the ACA, the lowest level in 10 years. Hospitals dealt with fewer uninsured self-payers, which meant improved and stabilized margins for healthcare providers across America.
The Effects of Mandate Elimination So Far
Under the new administration’s promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate penalty was eliminated.
This led to a cascade of effects in the healthcare industry. Experts estimate insurance coverage will decline by 6.5 million by 2020. Premiums will increase by at least 3% and healthcare margins are expected to dwindle.
So what are providers to do about this inevitable change?
Health Care Loans for Uninsured Patients
Health care loans are a great option for hospitals and practices looking to offset the negative effects of individual mandate elimination.
Uninsured patients may not have the means to cover the full cost of care. Let them know that they have another option. A patient loan is an easy way to eliminate bad debt while allowing more time to pay.
If you want to offset the effects of an increasingly uninsured population, Epic River can help. All patients are approved for loans and providers are paid upfront and in full. Learn more about our patient financing program to find out if it’s right for your practice.