Friday, April 2, 2010

Public Law 111-148 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The views expressed in this blog are my own personal opinions and do not reflect the views of Cottonwood nor it's administration.

I want over the next few days to review the contents of what is the main health care reform bill that was signed into law March 23. We have all heard a lot about it and some of the provisions but I would like to take a close look, outline what is in the law, and provide my own editorial comments. Again, as this is a topic of great importance to all of us I welcome any discussion, questions, or comments. The act is in 9 main sections and today I will cover part of Title I , Quality Affordable Health Care for All Americans.

Individual and Group Market reforms include:

A restriction on annual limits beginning this year and by 2014 an outright ban on all annual limits.

A ban on all lifetime caps for coverage effective this year.

A ban on plans dropping an individual from coverage due to illness.

Requires coverage of preventive services and a ban on co payments or deductibles on preventive services.

Prohibits discrimination of availability of group plans that discriminate in favor of higher salaried employees.

Provides a requirement for health insurance consumer information and new regulations for appeal process for denied claims. States are to open up offices of health insurance consumer assistance to help file complaints and grievances.

Immediate access to insurance for all those uninsured due to a preexisting condition.

A temporary coinsurance program to help offset the cost of health claims for employers who provide health benefits of early retirees from age 55-64 before eligibility for Medicare.

The establishment of Health Care Exchanges for purchasing insurance. This is a complicated topic and one that I will cover separately.

A prohibition on exclusions based upon preexisting conditions or health status.

Prohibition on excessive waiting periods.

Individuals may keep continued coverage under current plans.

Family members who are not enrolled in a person's current health plan may enroll if eligible.

Allowance for new employees to join the current plan.

Many of these insurance market reforms are felt by many people to be long overdue and I think that most Americans wold have little to argue about in these changes with the exception of the government's role in Health Care Exchanges which I will discuss separately later.

Thought for the day

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.

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