Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Four Key Provisions of the Health Care Bill

Blog posting provided by Michael Snowdon, CFP

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) had made some pretty significant changes to health care coverage. Here are four changes that already are in place.

First, lifetime limits on health insurance have been eliminated. No matter how high your claims, you cannot run out of coverage, because you have reached the policy's lifetime limit. Currently, some policies have a $500,000 or $1 million limit, which given a significant enough medical need, can be reached all too often.

Next, children can be covered under their parent's health insurance plan until they reach age 26. It does not matter whether they are married, living with you, in college or financially dependent on you. If you want them to be covered, you can do it.

Another change is a little help with Medicare's prescription drug "donut hole". Medicare Part D coverage reaches a point when you have to pay for all your prescription drug expenses, known as the donut hole. The PPACA will provide a one-time $250 rebate to help pay those expenses.

Finally, the PPACA stops health plans from retroactively canceling your insurance coverage solely because you or your employer made an honest mistake on your insurance application. Previously, an insurer might use such a mistake to rescind (terminate) a policy after a claim was filed. No longer. However, if you intentionally try to mislead the insurer and they find out, your policy may be terminated.

Check out www.healthcare.gov/law/introduction/index.html for more information.

Michael Snowdon, CFP, President
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