Big Changes to Your U.S. Health Insurance (Employer – Sponsored Plan)

September 23, 2010 marked the six-month anniversary of health Reform and its also the date when several key insurance changes come into effect.   Here are some details about those changes if you get your insurance through your employer:

1) Coverage expansion for adult dependents until age 26. Employers will have to provide coverage for dependents of workers who don’t have access to other employer-based health care coverage ’till age 26. Some states already mandate this coverage until age 28 or 29. This new provision could also push companies to look for ways to restrict the number of new people added to their health plans.

2) Children no longer denied coverage for pre-existing conditions: Insurance plans can’t deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition to children under age 19. For adults, the same provision goes into effect in 2014.

3) Prohibit insurers from rescinding coverage: It’s illegal for insurers to drop a customer when they become sick or search for an error on a customer’s insurance application and then deny payment for service when the person gets sick.

4) Free Preventive Care: All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. If individuals keep their existing plans or if a group plan doesn’t make major changes, the provisions won’t kick in until the plans get changed.

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