This Week in Healthcare
Health Reform Update
New High Risk Pool for Uninsurable Individuals Expected to Be Available by Late Summer
The first bill (AB 1887), by Assembly member Mike Villines (R-Clovis), would create the high-risk pool, while the second bill (SB 227), by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), would authorize the state to set up the pool and contract with private insurers to provide coverage (California Healthline, 6/28). The legislation would help the state draw down about $761 million in federal funding. Most Republican legislators voted against the measures because federal funding for the pool would run out in three years (Bussewitz, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/28).
The bills now go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who has said he will sign them. Once the measures become law, California residents with pre-existing conditions are expected to be able to apply for the pool by the end of the summer.
Key Patient Protections Take Effect September 2010
The new regulations include a set of protections that apply to health coverage starting on or after September 23, 2010, six months after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
•No Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children Under Age 19. Each year, thousands of children who were either born with or develop a costly medical condition are denied coverage by insurers. The new regulations will prohibit insurance plans from limiting benefits for children and from refusing to sell children coverage at all based on the fact that a child has a pre-existing condition. This policy applies to all types of insurance except for individual market plans that are “grandfathered.” This critical policy will be broadened to Americans of all ages in 2014.
Even With The ‘Grandfather Clause’ Protection, Change Is Coming To Most Health Plans
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