When will the health care reform law take effect?
The health insurance reforms adopted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and the subsequent reconciliation bill, are phased-in over 5 years. Most provisions will not take effect until January 1, 2014. However, there are some new protections that have already been implemented:
- Lifetime limits are prohibited and annual limits are restricted
- Enhanced appeal procedures are available to consumers
- Children under 19 years of age cannot be denied coverage
- Children up to age 26 may remain on a parent's policy
- Preventive services must be coverage and cannot have cost-sharing
- New rate review transparency requirements are in place
- Medical loss ratio standards limit insurers' overhead
- A standardized summary of benefits must be used by all insurers, allowing for easier comparison of plans
In addition, subsidized coverage for people with pre-existing conditions that cannot find coverage in the private market is now available in every state through January 1, 2014.