Initial Health Care Reform to Raise Premiums 5%
Impending provisions of the federal health-care reform law, which will go into effect on Thursday, September 23, 2010 will likely increase the cost of insurance premiums by 5 percent, applicable to policies purchased after that date.
Under the terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress on March 23, 2010, the age of dependent children will be raised from 23 to 26. This is considered to be the change that will generate the greatest increased costs as employers will not be required to cover more people under their work-related benefit plans.
Other changes include the removal of annual or lifetime dollar limits on the amount spent on health services, artificial caps that, in many cases, prevented policy holders from receiving needed treatment once they became solely responsible for the expenses.
Additionally, it will no longer be legal to deny coverage to children under the age of 19 for pre-existing conditions, a considerable boon to parents struggling with the expense of chronically ill offspring.
All preventive services will now be covered without co-pays in a bid to supporting a major tenet of health care reform, the idea that better preventive medicine will, in the long-term, have the greatest effect in lowering overall health-care costs in the United States.
The remainder of the provisions of the health care act will go into effect in 2014.