Immediate Impacts of Healthcare Reform
Take a look at the top 10 immediate impacts of the healthcare reform law.
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Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), your family may be eligible for assistance in finding and paying for health insurance.
In 2010, the law barred plans from imposing preexisting condition exclusions on coverage of children under the age of 19.
In 2014, individuals and small businesses will be able to comparison shop for standardized health packages through new state health insurance exchanges. These exchanges will facilitate enrollment and administer tax enrollment and administer tax credits so that people of all incomes can obtain affordable coverage.
Plans now provide dependent coverage for children must continue to make that coverage available for dependents up to age 26.
You may see a change if you itemize your deductions on your federal income tax form. In 2013, for those under age 65, the income threshold for claiming the itemized deduction for medical expenses will increase from 7.5 to 10 percent.
In 2010, the law prohibited all health plans from placing lifetime limits on coverage, and prohibited the use of restrictive annual limits. By 2014, it will prohibit plans from imposing annual limits on the amount of coverage an individual may receive.
Within six months of enactment, plans must provide first-dollar coverage for preventive services. This means your deductible does not apply to these services.
By 2014, the law will provide that health plans can no longer deny applications for insurance coverage based on the applicant's preexisting health conditions. It will also limit the ability of insurance companies to charge higher rates due to heath status, gender, or other factors. Premiums will vary only on age, geography, family size and tobacco use.
By 2014, the law will provide that insurance plans must include government-defined "essential benefits" and coverage levels. All non-grandfathered and exchange health plans will be required to meet federally required to meet federally mandated levels of coverage. The federal Office of Personnel Management will provide a choice of coverage through a multistate plan available from nationwide health plans.
This information has been compiled from a variety of sources. Please note that interpretations may vary, and you should consult your attorney and/or tax advisor for more specific information. New and existing state laws may impact many of these provisions as well as future federal and state regulations. Please also note that the new law allows for "grandfathering" of certain health plans, making those plans not necessarily subject to portions of the new law.
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