For those Uninsured:
- Young adults can remain on their parents' insurance up to the age of 26 (effective 6 months after enactment)
- Immediate assistance will be provided to those who are uninsured due to pre-existing conditions. Assistance will be provided through a temporary high risk pool until the Exchanges (see future post) are up and running in 2014 (effective 90 days after enactment)
For those with private insurance
- Health care plans are prohibited from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions (effective 6 months after enactment, this will apply to adults in 2014)
- Health care plans are prohibited from dropping people when they get sick
- Health care plans are no longer allowed to place life time caps on coverage
- Free preventative care under new plans: preventative services will be exempt from deductibles and will be provided with no copay (effective 6 months after enactment)
- Consumers in new plans will have access to internal and external appeals process to appeal decisions.
- Insurance companies are required to put more of your premium toward benefits and less toward profits. Insurers that do not meet thresholds will be required to reimburse policy holders (Effective Jan 1, 2011
- New Group health plans are prohibited form discriminating in favor of employees with higher wages.
- Increase funding for community health centers with the goal of doubling the number of patients served by 2015
- Funding for training programs for primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals
- Provides funding to states in order to establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance where consumers can file complaints and appeals
The details on the above changes are still being ironed out. Next post: long term health care changes.