First Wave of Health Care Reform Changes Arrives September 23

Tomorrow, it will be six months since President Barack Obama signed health care reform into law. However, September 23 is not only health care reform’s six-month anniversary but also the day several significant provisions under the health care reform package (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010) will go into effect.

More specifically, the legislation contains several health insurance reforms that are effective for the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010. (For calendar year plans, the reforms will generally be effective on January 1, 2011.) The following insurance reforms apply to all plans, including grandfathered plans:

  • elimination of lifetime limits;
  • restriction of annual limits;
  • prohibition on rescissions;
  • coverage for adult dependent children; and
  • elimination of preexisting condition exclusions for children.

Additionally, the following insurance reforms apply only to new plans and do not apply to grandfathered plans:

  • preventive care coverage;
  • nondiscrimination rules;
  • patient protections;
  • claims and appeals process; and
  • miscellaneous other provisions (including requirements regarding cost reporting and rebates, transparency, and ensuring quality of care).

For more information about the new reforms going into effect, see attorney Tamara Killion’s article

Keep up with the latest changes in health care reform and other benefits issues with Benefits Complete Compliance.