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How Could Health Reform Help Me?

by Carolina on May 5, 2010

The Health Reform offers three main benefits:

    1. Insurers will have to offer you coverage: insurers will no longer be able to turn anyone down because of pre-existing medical conditions. From pregnancy to heart disease they will all be covered. Rates won’t be tied to your health, although smoker may have to pay up to 50% more. The oldest people in a plan will pay no more than three times the rate paid by the youngest. Basically, the rules most help people who have health problems.

    1. People may get subsidies: plans on the exchanges will provide more benefits than many individual policies today. Those using the exchanges will receive large tax credits to help them buy, and those subsidies will reach deep into the middle class.

    1. Health plans will be simpler to shop for: all the plans must provide at least a standard menu of essential benefits, spending less time scouring contracts for surprising loopholes. They will also come in just four types: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum; and they will all be offered online.

The transformation of the individual insurance market, won’t fully take hold until 2014.  However, here are some benefits that come online right away:

  • Starting in July of 2010, adults who have a pre-existing condition and have been uninsured for at least six months can get insurance through a temporary high-risk pool with subsidized premiums.
  • Insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Young adults who do not get health benefits at work can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.
  • Insurers can no longer impose lifetime limits on benefits. New private plans must fully cover preventive services such as immunizations and mammograms (no co-pays or deductibles).
  • Medicare beneficiaries will get a $250 rebate when they hit the gap in coverage for prescription drugs, known as the “doughnut hole”.

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