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Have you looked closely at the changes:
What Happens Next
Since the House of Representatives voted to pass health reform legislation on Sunday night, the legislative process and its political impact have been the focus of all the newspapers and cable TV pundits.
Outside of DC, however, many Americans are trying to cut through the chatter and get to the substance of reform with a simple question: "What does health insurance reform actually mean for me?" To help, we've put together some of the key benefits from health insurance reform.
Let's start with how health insurance reform will expand and strengthen coverage:
This year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone.
This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.
This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need.
This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years.
This year, we'll also establish an independent commission to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's needs. Going forward, we will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -- on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:
This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.
This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higher-wage employees.
Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies.
Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.
Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges.
Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:
This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.
This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.
This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64.
This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.'
Director, White House Office of Health Reform
Actually lazy poor people are screwed unless they are on the Government payroll already.
Why? Because they will now be forced to purchase insurance or pay a fine. Where is that money going to come from? You might say the Government.
However the Government is not offering to pay the premiums up front. They are offering Tax Credits... and those are not monthly checks.
This is a very Bad Bill.
Not every insurer is doing a bad job. But Team Obama is demonizing the entire industry.
What's ironic is there is nothing in this bill to keep the costs of premiums down. Insurers can charge whatever they want! So this bill is actually going to boost the profits of the Insurance Industry as a whole, and those who are bad are going to be rewarded just like the unethical Bankers.
How about elderly people on social security who spend most of their fixed income on ever rising medical and prescription charges. Individuals who are part of a larger group will have better bargaining power that is the concept.
And what about people who work full time for minimum wage and have no insurance? Are they lazy or just not as good as you because they don't earn as much as you?
Your characterization of the people who will benefit from this is both unfair and ignorant.
When you reread what I wrote you'll realize that your comment should not be targeted at me. I didn't call anyone lazy. I explained why the "lazy" as suggested will NOT benefit. They will be in a very poor position unless they are on some other Subsidized Program.
You know not every car manufacturer is a bad citizen either, but almost every one of them fought the seat-belt and then the air-bag. I think the one, count em one, exception was Volvo.
Now some of the very ones who made the nastiest attacks use these required features as selling points.
Funny how things work out.
My detestation of both seat belts and airbags has not slackened. I'm not using them as selling points. And I do everything I can think of to avoid dealing with either, short of "obvious stuff" that would get me ticketed.
I've been reading the actual bill (now law). In practice, the entire financial load except for a truly tiny percentage will fall squarely upon the shoulders of the middle class and nowhere else.
Plus, there's a specific requirement in the bill for carriers to produce viable policies by the end of July. Based upon my own 12 years as a commercial insurance underwriter, I doubt very strongly that ANY insurance company can put together an actuarially sound plan within that four month time span.
Yet both have saved countless lives...and benefited insurance companies in the process. Now because it has directly benefitted insurance companies, who have NOT passed on the savings these two devices have given them, but instead raised their rates year after year after year.
And since you have twelve years as an underwriter and all of your profit is commission; a percentage (what about 15%?) of the new and renewed policy, what exactly is your beef again? Thirty-two million people will have to buy insurance now who didn't have it before. Commission! It may change your percentages, but it will also get you more clients...if you can convince them your parent company is the one to go with that is.
Not quite true, but if it were who would we thank for that? Republicans or Democrats?
I would hazard to guess that insurers have been planning for this eventuality for the last year if not more. And actuaries typically calculate for a broad spectrum of risks. It would surprise me if they had not crunched these numbers already.
Hm. Okay. My years as an underwriter were in commercial lines--liability, property, cargo, workers comp--NOT as a Life or Health underwriter. Those are commission types; I was salaried. And my beef? Not a beef; seems to me I stated it as a BELIEF, namely that it's going to be an actuarial mess.
As to seat belts and airbags, they've also killed people. My five foot, 98 pound wife is at risk from "airbag death" any time she gets in a car (other than mine). But I value individual freedom far above life or death, and I will never accept the idea that the government has the right to tell me I have to protect my own body. That would work only if they owned it, which of course they did during my time in the Army, but only then.
As to the cost topic (and where the burden will lie), it IS quite true according to the numbers I've crunched (which are in my most recently published hub). Feel free to crunch your own. As for who to thank? Democrats entirely; they wrote the bill in a shutout of the Republicans, at least if the press can be trusted far enough to believe what they reported over the months.
They brought it on themselves don't you think?
You made an edit.
The insurance industry was all for both seat-belts and air-bags. The auto manufactures weren't. Yet the loudest complainers now tout these as safety features.
As I remember some manufacturers even claimed cars would become too expensive for the "average Joe" due to seat-belts and air-bags. Didn't happen did it?
The real problem with air-bags is they didn't research them nearly enough before implementing them. The technology is finally catching up with the intent.
Insurance companies are also all for motorcycle helmets. Fewer claims.
If your not working,you won't get a tax cut because you won't have a w-2,which means the working people will pay for your health insurance,like we already are.
And also kids are not going to leave the tables of parents until after age 26,because they will not have an incentive to work for anything.
1. Only children born in the month of September or after are covered for pre-existing conditions.
2. I am being forced to pay for insurance I cannot afford by the federal government owning a private sector business!
3. This is not a health care bill it is an insurance company bill
4. When has it become popular or right for our government to FORCE us to buy something? When did that happen?
I cannot believe there are really people out there who think any of this is a good idea
And btw, I am not a republican!
You obviously don't live in Massachusetts. We already have to.
March 23, 2010
Also on that date, about 200 years ago -
Of course health care is a great idea. The people who don't like it are at best misled and at worst dangerous.
Forced healthcare is what is not liked. Get it straight.
Btw- healthcare shouldn't be a government issue, except for the regulating of said industry.
Government shouldn't be providing healthcare or health insurance or any of that.
Once people become dependent on the government for their problems, for which, they can take care of themselves, then they are telling the government that it is alright to strip them of their rights and freedoms.
That leads only to communism and that doesn't work. Socialism doesn't work either. There are 55 Founding fathers of America and framed America as a republic.
To stray from the founding fathers structure is to diminish individual rights and freedoms, to a level of slavery. It's not an option.
And, you should keep your comments to yourself.
What makes you say I haven't looked it over or read it?
I am of the understanding that the "healthcare" bill is exactly that, a piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President of the United States.
However, it doesn't address the damn problem. The problem is that there are simply too many people who cannot pay for it to begin with, even if required.
The number of homeless is 45 Million people. Do you seriously think that they are going to fine and then jail 45 MILLION people?
Grow some rational thought, please?
This is an open forum. I can make whatever comments I like. If you don't like it maybe you should find something else to do with your time.
Well you either haven't read it or you didn't understand it.
It didn't used to be that way. What changed?
Profit wasn't the primary motivator in health care.
Health care was.
Now it's a good stock report to keep the investors happy. And who gets the short end of the stick. The insured!
For years the insurance industry has been bilking clients. Clients who've paid into the kitty for years only to be told they have a pre-existing condition or there's a spending cap.
None of that crap was in their policy.
It's been a shell game, a con, a rip-off of massive proportions. What amazes me is that they got away with it for so long. It's not just immoral and unethical it's criminal to sell someone something and then with-hold it in the name of profits.
You haven't read the bill.
Grow a brain.
And again, you keep trying to detract from my original message.
As for this being a public forum and your comments? There can be no reason for you to make any comment about my comments. It's not rational.
There was nothing in my statement that was contested. The fact that Government has it's nose in too deep into society is not my fault, but is my point.
If you cannot see that, then you are only helping perpetuate the misconception of "share the wealth" spin government gives to the public.
Healthcare? Oh, please. No sane person should be relying on Government intervention, so as to get health insurance. To think government needs to get involved is foolish, and shows how ignorant most people are with regards to the proper role of government.
So, please take your half-baked irrational thought process and bark up someone else's tree. Here- you're only spouting to hear yourself talk.
Just another thought you might consider......when does one stop government from dumbing down society?
If you cannot wrap your mind around, then oh well. Either way, have a great day.
Am I busy? I just published a new hub and was working on 3 others, until I stopped in here.
Why do you ask?
I was working on a hub and opened a can of worms, you want to see? I will e-mail it to you, or copy paste my problem and e-mail you that.
Well lets see the Dems want to make us pay our bills or else, they'll make us pay our bills. Thats not what they stand for! They want us to pay for other peoples bills because we work and the others chose not to work and this is a free country so if you choose not to work then thats a valid lifestyle choice and you should be supported and compensated so those who work must pay for the goods and services you consume. Now I get it.
Can someone tell me when this will go into in effect? I'm a fat, lazy person, who pays over $8900.00 dollars a year, and need some better coverage in order to maintain the ability to feed my child. I'm 40ty and I've tried everything, but with my family's medical history, I have to have a $10,000 deductible plan for 89 hundred dollars, just to have something to cover any major medical.
Seriously, I can't wait much longer. Does anyone know when this goes into effect?
by theirishobserver.4 years ago
At Last - A Patient's Bill of Rights Good afternoon,It seems like everywhere you go in this country, you hear story after story of Americans who have been let down by the private health insurance...
by scoop4 years ago
What exactly is "Obamacare" and when does the law go into effect?
by Holle Abee8 years ago
I thought this article was interesting, especially since it appeared in the NYT. According to this guru, costs will INCREASE, not decrease. This is the same guru that democrats hailed as wonderful when he challenged...
by lauravan2 years ago
What, if any, role should the government play in determining individuals' adoption of health insurance? If you think everyone should be required to have some form of health insurance, why? If you don't think it's...
by qwark7 years ago
what a waste of time!It will never be "repealed."Read it damnit! All 2000+ pages and make, in bi-partisan manner, the necessary changes that will improve it!Qwark
by Georgiakevin8 years ago
I simply do not understand why people are fighting health care reform. I have heard the arguments against it and I keep saying how is that worse than being held hostage by the insurance companies? My insurance cost...
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