Health Care Reform Enacted

In 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health care reform into law. More needs to be done, especially at the state level, where many aspects of the law will be implemented, but it is a first step toward controlling the cost of care and includes many provisions Maryland PIRG fought for.

Below are some of the highlights of the federal health care law:

  • Prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
  • Prohibits dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  • Lowers seniors prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
  • Offers tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Eliminates lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
  • Requires plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26;
  • Requires new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations;
  • Ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Offers uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions the choice of enrolling in insurance provided through a temporary high-risk pool;
  • Requires premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

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