March 23 marks the one year anniversary of the sweeping changes in healthcare insurance known as the Affordable Care Act 2011 and millions of Americans are still confused about how this law affects them.
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 with changes to affect healthcare inusrance policies immediately as well as changes that would come into effect over time.
Most Americans still have no idea how this law affects them or their policy. Many of the changes took place on September 23, 2010. These key measures of the law were set to be in force six months after President Obama signed the reform legislation. The new rules apply to most health insurance plans that begin or renew after that date.
The problem is that most Americans don’t understand the changes. People are scratching their heads wondering if this affects them or not. Changes were made in wellness and preventive benefits, the profit thresholds for the insurance companies, annual benefit limitations, and pre-existing conditions in children but these will not benefit you if you hold one of the many policies that were “grandfathered in”.
Grandfathered plans were already in existence on March 23, 2010, when healthcare reform became law and are protected so that people who have these policies and are satisfied with their benefits can keep them. These plans lose their exemption, however, and insurance companies can significantly raise premiums and reduce benefits as they see fit.
It is only “new” policies or policies that are written or renewed after September 23, 2010 that will offer the benefits of healthcare reform including the wellness benefits, lifting the pre-existing condition for children, lifting lifetime maximum benefit caps, limited annual expenses and limiting profits on the insurance companies.
Confused? You should be.
Though are many resources to help you navigate the changes it probably hasn’t been on the top of your priority list. One year after the signing of this law most of the people I asked didn’t know if their policy was affected by the law or not. Many couldn’t even name a change in healthcare insurance that was put into effect by the law.
A local company Healthcare Solutions Team has assembled a large group of insurance professions who are trained and ready to help you navigate Healthcare reform. Healthcare Solutions is based in Lombard, IL and their motto is a Plan For Everyone(tm) and they mean it. They believe in solving problems of healthcare insurance with each policy holder by offering them knowledge and solutions. Part of their solution is a “policy check-up”.
This “check-up” for your policy helps you navigate the changes in reform and gives you peace of mind that you have the right coverage for you and your family at the right price. They do this be offering policies from most major medical providers as well as solutions for those who medically or financially believed to be uninsurable.
The first step to your is to know the changes that occurred one year ago when the Affordable Care Act became law.
Here are the changes for all new or renewed health insurance policies that begin after September 23. This applies to both individual and employer-sponsored plans. This does not include “grandfathered” plans. Information provided by Healthcare Solution Team and is also available from www.healthcare.gov.
* Children up to age 19 cannot be denied coverage due to pre-existing health conditions. EXCEPTION: Individually purchased grandfather plans can deny coverage to children.
* Limits on annual medical expenses will be phased on over the next three years. An insurance plan that begins or is renewed after September 23 must now cover medical expenses up to at least $750,000. EXCEPTION: Individually purchased grandfathered plans can continue set dollar limits on coverage.
* Free preventive health care services from in-network providers, including screenings to detect diabetes, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems.
*Free immunizations and other services for infants and children
*Prohibits insurances from dropping coverage: insurance companies can no longer cancel your health insurance coverage because you become sick.
Many people who hold individual healthcare polcies are turning to the Healthcare Solutions Team to find the right plan for them that will include these benefits.
Not sure about your own policy or your families policy. Be sure to talk with your healthcare insurance agent or your benefits administrator at your employer to find out if your policy is “grandfathered” in.
If you hold an individual policy or are self-employed and you and your family are healthy you want a policy that is part of the Affordable Care Act 2011 and not “grandfathered” in. It could save your family a lot of money just on preventive services for your children.
Change is always difficult but information helps you navigate the changes. Be sure to subscribe above to my link to receive more updates on healthcare reform and how to save money with the Affordable Care Act 2011. Email me or visit Healthcare Solutions Team to start your policy “check-up”.
Healthy and Happy, the Heather Way!
This is the beginning of a series of articles to help navigate the Afforable Care Act 2011. Feel free to email your questions to me [email protected] I am a IL licensed insurance consultant and have teamed up with members Healthcare Solutions Team to answer any of your questions. As a frustrated insurance policy holder I sought out solutions to the current healthcare insurance crisis. A healthier and happier you requires good healthcare, good healthcare requires a healthy insurance plan.