Obama Health Care Act
The Obama Health Care Act was passed in 2010 and brought with it numerous changes. Many of these changes were designed to increase access to insurance, protect patients and promote preventative care rather than sick care.
One of the earliest changes provided children with access to insurance coverage regardless of health status and pre-existing conditions up to the age of 26. This ensures that children are able to receive preventative care, immunizations and other necessary care no matter what. The Obama Health Care Act also contains provisions that allow adults to access coverage regardless of pre-existing care.
Another protection put into place by the Obama Health Care Act prevents insurance companies from rescinding coverage unless there is evidence of fraud. Before health care reform, insurance companies could rescind policies at will, which meant that people could be left without coverage shortly after being diagnosed with a serious or chronic health condition.
Currently, insurance companies can also charge more for those with pre-existing conditions, but in 2014, they will be required to charge them same premiums as those without pre-existing conditions. This makes insurance not just more accessible but also more affordable for those with health problems.
The Obama Health Care Act contains provisions, such as the elimination of annual and lifetime maximums, designed to ensure affordability for others, too. Insurance companies will still have the right to limit access to non-essential care, and all patients will be allowed to appeal denied claims. If they have urgent needs, the claims process can be expedited. Limits will be placed on certain out-of-pocket expenses, and certain preventative services will be covered with no out-of-pocket costs.
Not all plans will be covered by the Obama Health Care Act. Certain plans may be eligible for grandfathered status, which means they will not have to comply with the new regulations. However, if the plan makes any changes to their coverage, they will need to comply with the health care reform legislation.