Several of the provisions of the health care bill’s provisions went into effect on September 23rd, one of the most popular of them being the fact that kids can now stay on their parent’s health care policies until age 26, but there also three other important ones too!
Coverage for these children doesn’t begin until Jan 1, 2011 for employer policies, and you will have to make sure that you add your kid during open-enrollment this fall. You can also add your kid back on if they dropped off because they got too old.
(Incidentally, Consumer’s Union is sponsoring a video contest where you can win $1,000 if you make a really great 3-minute video that shows why the option to stay on your parents’ coverage is awesome.)
Another aspect that kicked in on Sep 23 was that health care companies can’t deny insurance to children with preexisting conditions. Major players in the health care industry responded to this one by instead of denying insurance, it would opt to stop selling child-only health insurance policies entirely. It remains to be seen what other inventive ideas the health care industry will come up with as it adjusts to the new regulations.
Life-time coverage limits are starting to get phased out. These were limits that said after you exceeded a certain level, the insurance company wouldn’t pay anymore – financially devastating for seriously ill patients with chronic conditions. Plans starting between Sep 23 2010 and Sep 23 2011, employer plans can’t have annual limits of less than $750,000, and after Sep 23 2011, the limit rises to $1.25 million.
Finally, after Sep 23, co-pays, coinsurance and meeting deductibles were dropped for a slew of preventative care tests, like blood-pressure, cholesterol, flu shots, colonoscopies, mammograms, diabetes. Check with your insurer to see if you qualify based on age.