Health Care Law Provisions Taking Effect in 2013 - 8 News NOW

Health Care Law Provisions Taking Effect in 2013

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LAS VEGAS - The beginning of the year means new facets of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare are now in effect.

Doctors are preparing for 2014 when the majority of the healthcare law takes effect. That's when penalties begin to set in for those who don't have insurance or employers who don't offer it. This year, patients might notice some other changes.

Learn More About the Affordable Care Act

The former president of the Clark County Medical Society says Medicaid coverage will expand slowly into 2014. While that means more people will be covered under the program, it could also mean longer wait times at hospitals.

The law also establishes a program that encourages hospitals, doctors and medical providers to bundle payments, which would eliminate extra costs.

Additionally, more funding will be provided for the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP.

When it comes to unintended consequences of the law, some are saying the cost of health care will go up this year by about four-percent.

Local employers are trying to figure out how this law affects their business, because they'll need to start covering employees or face fines next year. The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce sees the law as a hindrance on the employment rate.

"The Chamber thinks it's going to have a real chilling effect on hiring, particularly with our real fragile economy right now," said Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Cara Roberts. "This applies differently for full-time employees versus part-time employees, so there may actually be less incentive to hire full-time employees and more of an incentive to hire part-time employees going forward."

Another provision taking effect this year that many agree is a good thing is a requirement that insurance companies must detail all plans in easy-to-understand terms that most people can understand.

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