Health Care Reform Update: Key Provisions Take Effect
By Barbara Griswold, LMFT
(September 24, 2010)
On September 23, 2010, key provisions of the historic health reform law (Affordable Care Act) took effect, offering better insurance coverage for most Americans. A few of the big changes follow:
- Children under the age of 19 can no longer be denied coverage based on a pre-existing medical or mental health condition (adults won’t get this benefit until January 2014).
- If a parents’ plan provides coverage for dependent children, it now must cover children up to age 26 (even if the children are married, live outside the home, or are financially independent).
- Plans can no longer limit the dollar amount of yearly – or lifetime – benefits.
- Private plans now must cover free preventive services, including depression screening.
Of course, there is always the fine print and exceptions, some of which are below:
- These provisions won’t take effect until the policy renews for the first time after September 23, 2010.
- Plans can limit spending for services considered “not medically necessary.”
- Plans may only be required to provide free preventive services through a network provider.
- Plans do not have to offer dependent coverage if a young adult is eligible for their own coverage.
Learn more at the government’s health reform website (www.healthcare.gov), or for more about coverage for dependent children, go to www.gettingcovered.org.
To get the manual that answers all your insurance questions, click here, or to set up your insurance consultation with Barbara, click here.
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Barbara Griswold, LMFT, is the author of Navigating the Insurance Maze: The Therapist’s Complete Guide to Working with Insurance – And Whether You Should. To purchase the book or other resources for therapists, click here. Contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org to get answers to your insurance questions.
Copyright 2008-, Barbara Griswold, LMFT. No part may be reproduced without written permission of the author.