President Obama describes how American families will have more control over their health care this year, after health reform passes.
Here are a few more points about how health insurance reform measures will benefit Americans this year:
Hold Insurance Companies Accountable:
- Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans;
- Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans;
- Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
- Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
- Establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums, requiring State insurance commissioners to work with the HHS Secretary and States.
- Provide grants to States to support health insurance consumer assistance and ombudsman programs to help consumers;
- Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
- Require all insurance plans to use uniform coverage documents so consumers can make easy comparisons when shopping for health insurance;
- Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options;
- Prohibit insurers from discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees by charging them lower premiums.
Ensure Affordable Choices and Quality Care:
- Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
- Create a temporary re-insurance program for early retirees;
- Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
- Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
- Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
- Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs.