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Thursday, December 3

Highlights of the Health Insurance Reform Bill: Consumer Protections

Here is some info I came across on some consumer protections.  Although I have seen a lot of these in the current bill, I cannot verify all of them, I will try to do a search and let you know if I cant find some of the protections actually in the bill.  Beware that this is from and could be propaganda. I wouldnt expect them to post anything that is not in the bill.  I just wanted to raise a flag.

The thing that raises my eyebrows, they will come at a cost.  For example:
  • No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill
 If the Government protects the insurance purchaser from being dropped if they get seriously ill, that will raise the risk for the company issuing the insurance.  Now I agree that it is not ethical for an insurance company to drop a customer if they get seriously ill.  But what it will do is raise the risk factor of doing business for these insurance companies, which in turn raise insurance premiums.  But maybe this insurance marketplace they will set will combat some of these factors.

Health Insurance Consumer Protections
  • No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

  • No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays

  • Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for
    out-of-pocket expenses.

  • No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care

  • Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

  • No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill

  • Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

  • No Gender Discrimination

  • Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

  • No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage

  • Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

  • Extended Coverage for Young Adults

  • Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

  • Guaranteed Insurance Renewal

  • Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.