I know that many people here are skeptical of health reform and many of you are feeling that the package does not go far enough (in that it doesn't outlaw private insurance companies). We will have more to say about the impact of national reform, but here is a brief we wrote today explaining some of the benefits that take effect in the first year.
You can read the report here. Highlights below the fold:
• Insurers that offer dependent coverage for policyholders must allow parents to enroll children up to age 26.
• New insurance plans are barred from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
• Insurance companies are barred from placing caps on the dollar value of lifetime benefits and will cover
many preventive services at no charge to enrollees.
• Insurance companies must spend at least 85 percent of premium dollars in the large group market and 80
percent of premiums in the individual and small group markets on medical care.
• Creates a temporary high-risk pool for people unable to purchase insurance.People with pre-existing medical conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months will qualify for a new insurance plan with subsidized premiums. Total cost sharing in the new plan is capped at $5,950 for an individual and $11,900 for a family in 2010.
• Provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010.
This is a start, but the work continues.