ACA opens health care coverage, but struggles to reduce out-of-pocket costs

Jan 21, 2014 | Healthcare Industry News

Health care coverage is more readily available through and state-sponsored exchange websites, but for many Americans, the cost of coverage is still too high.

USA Today completed a study that analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found that the price of deductibles, prescription drugs and other expenses not covered by health insurance providers can cost thousands of dollars.

"The [Affordable Care Act] is an important safety net, but it doesn't necessarily solve the problem of high up-front medical expenses for those who don't have ability to pay for them," Matt Eyles, executive vice president at consulting firm Avalere Health, told the source.

Although the ACA requires expenses to be no more than $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, this cost sharing method may not be enough to alleviate the financial burden for patients or hospitals that are not receiving payment for these services.

On average, bronze level insurance plans cost $5,082, which would cost slightly more than $400 per month. This may be too much for Americans who have to pay for other expenses like rent, utilities and groceries. At the same token, Americans who don't enroll in a health insurance plan would be slapped with fines.

Accounts receivable services that are anticipating larger foot traffic in 2014 need to be prepared for these situations to occur. A financial loss of a few co-payments may not sound like a concern to a practice, but if thousands of patients are avoiding this charge, and many other fees, it could be detrimental to the practice's financial stability. Professional Medical Services are here to streamline the process to close outstanding medical bills.