How Will Changes to Healthcare Insurance Affect Me?

By Ryan Staib Posted : 05/18/2010

As a result of the new healthcare reform law, the health insurance industry must now comply with a number of new requirements that will affect nearly every American. Those include:

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Pre-existing conditions

By September 2010, health plans cannot deny coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions. Beginning in 2014, all pre-existing condition exclusions will be prohibited.

Adult children

By September 2010, all health plans must permit children to stay on family policies until age 26, unless the adult child (married or unmarried) has an offer of coverage through his or her employer. Beginning in 2014, parents can keep children up to age 26 on their plan, even if dependents have access to employer-based coverage.

Lifetime caps

In September 2010, insurers will be prohibited from placing lifetime limits on what they will pay for your medical care, and they can only apply restricted annual benefit limits.

Canceling your policy

Insurers will no longer be able to arbitrarily cancel your insurance policy when you get sick.

Preventive Services

By September 2010, health plans must provide coverage for preventive services. Recommended prevention and vaccination services will be covered without any deductibles or co-payments.

Rate increases

Starting in plan year 2011, insurance companies must disclose requested premium increases publicly. If the rate increase is found to be unreasonable, the insurer may be prohibited from competing for business in the new state-based exchange system that begins in 2014.

Spending their money

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, health plans will be required to spend most of their premium dollars on consumer care - rather than on profits and overhead - and rebate any excessive overhead to enrollees.

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