How Will Health Care Reform Affect Me?

 The top 18 immediate effects of the health care bill as well as some that will take effect in the first year:

1. Health insurers cannot deny children health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.  A similar ban for adults will take effect in 2014.

2. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums

3. Seniors will get a rebate to fill a “hole” in Medicare drug coverage, which severely limits prescription medication coverage expenditures over $2,700.

4. The cut-off age for young adults to continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance rises to age 27.

5. Lifetime caps on the amount of insurance an individual can have will be banned.  Annual caps will be limited, then banned in 2014.

6. A temporary high-risk pool will be set up to cover adults with pre-existing conditions.  Health care exchanges will eliminate the program in 2014.

7. New plans must cover checkups and other preventative care without copays.  All plans will be affected by 2018.

8. Insurance companies can no longer cut someone when he or she gets sick.

9. Insurers must now reveal how much money is spent on overhead.

10. Any new plan must now implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.

11. A 10% tax will be imposed on indoor tanning services, effective for services on or after July 1, 2010.

12. New screening procedures will be implemented to help eliminate health insurance fraud and waste.

13. Medicare payment protections will be extended to small rural hospitals and other health care facilities that have a small number of Medicare patients.

14. Non-profit Blue Cross organizations will be required to maintain a medical loss ratio – money spent on procedures over money incoming – of 85% or higher to take advantage of IRS tax benefits.

15. Chain restaurants will be required to provide a nutrient content disclosure statement alongside their items.

16. The bill establishes a temporary program for companies that provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55-64 in order to help reduce the expensive cost of that coverage.

17. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will set up a new website to make it easy for Americans in any state to find affordable health insurance options.  The site will also include helpful information for small businesses.

18. A 2-year temporary credit is established to encourage investment in new therapies for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

Taken directly from The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com, posted 3/22/10.