Health Care Reform
Health Care Reform
On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 - or better known as Health Care Reform.
Insurance carriers throughout the entire United States have been updating their individual and group plans to comply with the Health Care Reform changes by September 23, 2010. You may have received information from your specific insurance carrier(s).
The initial changes that are to take place on group plans on or after September 23, 2010 are:
- Dependents children are eligible for coverage until age 26 when they are without (or cannot afford) health insurance coverage through their own employer or other public plan.
- No cost sharing for preventative services
- Lifetime maximums are eliminated
- Emergency room services are covered at the in-network level regardless of provider
- Mandatory internal and external appeals processes are implemented
- Pre-existing condition exclusions are no longer allowed for children under age 19
- Small employers may be eligible for up to a 35% tax credit for paid health insurance premiums in 2010
Insurance carriers are able to adopt these changes for new business and renewed business after September 23. For most of our groups, the changes will be seen on the renewal date of your policy. If your policy renews January 1, 2011, you will see the new health care reform changes on January 1, 2011. If your plan renews March 1, 2011, then the changes will occur on March 1, 2011.
Please see the attachment: Health Care Reform Quick Reference Timeline for additional information on the upcoming changes through 2018.
Additionally, the State and Federal Governments offer assistance to Children and Families who are unable to afford the premiums offered by their employers. Medicaid (Badgercare Plus) and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offer assistance to families who are having difficulty affording premiums for health insurance coverage offered by their employer.