September 17, 2010 — Healthcare reform, officially called the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law by President Obama last March. But this September 23, it picks up steam. Six major provisions will be enacted to set reform on its way.
Here’s a quick look at the provisions:
- Extending Coverage for Young Adults: Young adults can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26. This doesn’t apply to young adults who already have health insurance through a job.
- Providing Free Preventive Care: New plans must offer free preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. This means they cannot charge you a deductible, co-pay, or coinsurance. (Note: This only includes new plans, not those already in effect when the healthcare reform law passed.)
- Banning Insurance Companies from Rescinding Coverage: When someone with health insurance got sick, insurance companies would sometimes search for an error or other mistake on that person’s application to deny coverage. That practice will no longer be legal. (Note: For most people, this will take effect in January 2011, at the beginning of a health plan’s new year.)
- Appealing Insurance Company Decisions: Consumers will have two ways to appeal coverage decisions or claims: through their insurer or through an independent decision-maker. (Note: This only includes new plans, not those already in effect when the healthcare reform law passed.)
- Eliminating Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage: Insurance companies can’t set lifetime limits on key benefits, such as hospital stays. (Note: This only includes new plans, not those already in effect when the healthcare reform law passed.)
- Regulating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage: The law will restrict insurance companies’ ability to set annual dollar limits on coverage for individual and group plans.
Will these healthcare reform changes affect you and your practice? Vote on our opinion poll.
So, next week, Americans are going to begin concretely seeing the changes made possible by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In fact, many already have (my Grammy received a nice rebate check from Medicare). And Republigoats are running on REPEAL?
Good luck with that.