Sept. 23 Coverage Milestones: Your Questions Answered

by Rebecca Farley on September 24, 2010

On Sept. 23, the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, several significant components of healthcare reform went into effect. There has been a lot of talk about how these new consumer protection requirements will affect individuals, providers, and employers. Get the facts for yourself and your clients here:

What new benefits can consumers expect?

The major components of health reform that took effect on Sept. 23 include:

  • Youth up to age 26 may remain on their parents’ insurance plan. View Details.
  • Insurance plans must cover certain preventive services without co-pays or deductibles, including depression screening and regular behavioral assessments for children. View Details.
  • Lifetime limits on the value of insurance benefits are prohibited. View Details.
  • New restrictions have been placed on insurers’ ability to impose annual limits, with annual limits phased out entirely by 2014. View Details.
  • Click here to view a list of other changes that went into effect yesterday, from Kaiser Health News.

Will my insurance plan have to comply with these requirements?

Group Coverage: If you have group insurance coverage through your employer, the new requirements will go into effect at the beginning of your next plan year for most plans. For many plans, this will not be until Jan. 1, 2011. Collectively bargained plans are exempt until the negotiated contract period expires.

Individual Coverage: If you have coverage on the individual market, the changes will go into effect at the beginning of your next plan year. However, plans that do not make significant changes to their covered benefits or cost-sharing this year are considered “grandfathered” plans and will not have to comply.

Medicaid/Medicare/Other Public Coverage: These changes do not affect public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Where can I find more information about these changes?

How Will Health Reform Impact Young Adults? (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured)
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