Obamacare: What’s already in placeby Denise Early on Jun. 06, 2013, under Health
The big pieces of the Affordable Care Act will take effect in 2014, but many parts of Obamacare are already in place.
The Affordable Care Act:
Prohibits individual and group health plans from placing lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage.
Back in 2011 I got a call from a lady who was in big trouble because she had enrolled in a health insurance plan with a $100,000 coverage limit. Here is part of what I wrote in my post.
If Jane’s medical bills exceed $100,000, she will no longer have health insurance. She wanted me to help her get new coverage. Unfortunately for Jane, she is probably un-insurable with her recent medical history and her pre-existing heart condition. I gave Jane a list of things she can do to see if she can get health insurance – but I think she is in big trouble.
Prohibits rescinding coverage except in cases of fraud.
In California a few years ago, a court case showed how insurance companies had collected premiums for years and then cancelled policies when people got sick. There was one thirty-something woman who was diagnosed with cervical cancer who had her health insurance policy “recinded”. Her insurance company looked back at her medical records from the time she was in high school and found she had been treated for a yeast infection when she was in her teens. The insurance company said that yeast infection might have been the cause of her cancer, and she had not reported this on her application for coverage -so they canceled her policy.
Prohibits denying children coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions or from including pre-existing condition exclusions for children.
Small company health insurance plans could cover the parents but deny coverage for a child with diabetes or other illnesses. The parents would need to find a job with a large employer so their child could get health insurance. Otherwise, they had no way to get health insurance for their child.
Extends dependent coverage for adult children up to age 26 for all individual and group policies.
About half of all states already had this law on the books, but now all companies in all states must allow their employees’ adult children to stay on their plan. My friend’s son took advantage of this after he finished college and got a job that offered no health insurance. He was 25 years old and got sick – but he was covered by his parents’ health insurance so he got the medical care he needed. His mother and father feel very lucky to have a healthy son and their life savings intact.