No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the nation’s healthcare system has likely been a frequent topic of conversation. Whether healthcare reform happens, and what shape it will ultimately take, could have a major impact on your practice.

President Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, he has so far been unsuccessful. Full repeal and “skinny repeal” failed to pass the House and Senate over the summer. But that doesn’t mean healthcare reform won’t happen in the future. Let’s discuss four of the key points lawmakers remain focused on and how each could affect your hearing care practice.

  1. Preexisting Conditions

Many of your patients’ hearing difficulties are tied to another condition. Those who have dealt with these issues for years are watching healthcare reform closely. A key protection offered by the ACA forbids insurance providers from refusing to cover customers with preexisting medical conditions.

If that protection is taken away, many of your patients will have to pay for future office visits and new hearing aid hardware out of their own pockets. That could put your services out of reach for many. Partnering with CareCredit offers budget-conscious patients a financing option, and it can help drive business no matter what shape the healthcare system takes.

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  1. High-Risk Pools

One controversial change some lawmakers are seeking is to segregate insurance into various “pools” based on their risk factors. This would likely drive down costs for young, healthy individuals. But it could cause costs to rise dramatically for those who are sick or elderly. Again, payment plans such as those offered by CareCredit could be a way to keep the care these individuals need at payments they can afford.

  1. Age Rating

Along with high-risk pools, another reform lawmakers are seeking is to allow insurance companies to charge the elderly more than they charge other groups. Under the ACA, the difference is capped at 3%. If healthcare reform passes, the cap could rise to 5% or higher. This could result in massive increases for your oldest patients. This is another instance where plans such as those offered by CareCredit could mean the difference between getting the help they need, and being forced to go without hearing checks or the aids they require.

Talking to patients

  1. Medicaid Rollback

Another controversial reform is the push to roll back many of the Medicaid expansions that occurred under the ACA, increasing the number of people eligible for those insurance plans, and allowing many who couldn’t otherwise afford insurance at all to find coverage.

A repeal of ACA could change that. Estimates vary, but as many as 24 million Americans could lose their health insurance over the next decade. That would dramatically shrink the pool of patients who can afford your services. Once again, CareCredit is a potential solution, allowing you to continue serving these patients without forcing them to choose between other expenses and their hearing.

The Future of Healthcare

Whatever reforms are enacted to healthcare in this country, the prospect is unsettling for many who rely on their insurance to provide them with the much-needed hearing services your practice offers. Partnering with CareCredit can help protect your business. Offering a financing option will allow you to continue to serve all of your patients to the best of your ability, getting them exactly what they need, when they need it, whatever their level of insurance they have.

This content was provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by contributing writer Tariq Kamal, courtesy of CareCredit and The Hearing Review.