How Healthcare Reform Affects You

President Obama opened up to Men's Health editor Dave Zinczenko about his quest for healthcare change -- and how the reform can affect the public.

Five Ways President Obama's Health Care Plan Can Affect You

1. Your premium may go down

The uninsured usually can’t afford their treatment, so the rest of us pay hidden surcharges, says Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a group favoring reform. This “tax” averaged $1,017 per family in 2008, the group says. Covering the uninsured would lower it, he says.

2. Small business could benefit

The percentage of small businesses providing coverage for employees dropped from 67 to 38 in the past 13 years, says Molly Brogan of the National Small Business Association. Reform could lead to subsidies to help them pay, which could boost the economy as well.

3. Your income may go up

As health-care expenses climb, companies shift costs to employees or cut back in other areas. If costs are under control, more of your employer’s revenue could go into your pay, says Jeffrey Grossman, M.D., president of the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation.

4. You might worry less

Right now you’re healthy, employed and covered. But say you develop a medical condition and change jobs. Your new insurance company may deny you coverage, or offer coverage that’s unaffordable. Reforms would ensure that you have an affordable option, Pollack says.

5. Your ER care would improve

People who are uninsured often use the ER as a primary-care doctor’s office. That means they’re crowding out insured folks. Three out of four people requiring immediate care have to wait an average of 28 minutes, a government report reveals.

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