The long-anticipated overhaul of America’s health care system is finally underway, with historic changes taking place, namely the Affordable Health Care Act signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. But are you aware of exactly how these reforms will affect the rights and benefits belonging to you and your family?
Dr. Oz is dedicated to helping you navigate the changing landscape of America’s healthcare system, starting with the initial major reforms outlined below.
The Affordable Health Care Act
The first major rumblings of change were felt when the Affordable Health Care Act rolled into effect on September 23, 2010. This health law ensures greater access to preventive care, the foundation of the America’s public health care system. The act mandates that all new insurance plans and many existing plans, as they’re renewed, cover the following preventive health care services without charging patients co-insurance, co-pays or deductibles:
- Pap smears
- Colon cancer screenings
- Blood sugar testing
- Children’s checkups
Click here to see US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin speak with Dr. Oz on the Affordable Health Care Act.
Benefits Beyond Preventive Coverage
If you and your family already have a solid health insurance plan with good preventive coverage you may be wondering if this law will positively impact any of your health care options. Here are some new rules that cover benefits you could find yourself in need of.
- If you have a child under age 19 with a pre-existing condition such as asthma, health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits or coverage.
- Previously if you had a college-age child, they’d be required to come off your health plan immediately after graduation. The Affordable Health Care Act allows your child to stay on your insurance plan until they turn 26 years old. This new rule is designed to provide financial relief to the many parents who end up footing their college graduate’s insurance bill since first jobs often don’t include health insurance.
- Annual limits on coverage such as intensive care hospital stays are now eliminated.
Affordable Coverage for Adults with Pre-existing Health Conditions
As of July 1, 2010, people denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition can enroll in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) available through state plans. This program runs through 2014, when the federal program will take over, banning insurers from refusing to cover adults with pre-existing conditions and offering them affordable coverage choices.
For all the latest information on health care reform and the Affordable Health Care Act, click here.
Click here, and enter your zip code to find out which private insurance plans, public programs and community services are available to you in your area.