Several significant components of healthcare reform will go into effect next month. Beginning Sept. 23:
- Young people up to age 26 will be able to remain on their parents’ insurance policies.
- Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
- Insurers will no longer be able to cancel individuals’ policies except in cases of outright consumer fraud.
- Lifetime limits (limits on the amount of money insurers will pay in claims over an individuals’ lifetime) will be prohibited.
- New restrictions will be placed on insurers’ ability to impose annual limits.
- Insurance plans will be required to cover certain preventive services, including depression screening and regular behavioral assessments for children.
The rules on lifetime/annual limits and preventive care will not apply to plans with “grandfathered” status – meaning plans that have not significantly changed their benefits or cost-sharing requirements since the law’s passage. Most plans are expected to lose their grandfathered status over time.