(AP) – Health insurers have been implementing parts of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and preparing for provisions yet to take effect, even as the Supreme Court prepares to review whether or not the 2010 law is constitutional.
Some things the law has required insurers to do so far and what remains to be done:
Insurers already have:
_ Expanded dependent coverage in individual and group policies to include adult children up to age 26.
_ Eliminated lifetime limits on the dollar value of insurance coverage. That refers to how much insurance coverage pays out to cover claims.
_ Restricted annual limits on coverage, a practice that will be prohibited starting in 2014.
_ Provided preventive care like immunizations or mammograms without charging co-pays or other forms of cost sharing.
_ Stopped excluding children from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
_ Started spending minimum percentages of the premiums they collect on care or programs to improve quality.
Still to do:
_ Create by September user-friendly summaries of standard benefits for people shopping for coverage.
_ Prepare to sell coverage on state-based exchanges that will allow individuals and employees of small businesses to shop for insurance starting in 2014.
_ Offer coverage to everyone who applies and stop excluding people with pre-existing conditions starting in 2014.
_ Stop pricing coverage based on a person’s health status.
_ Start paying an industry-wide insurer fee that begins at $8 billion in 2014 and increases afterward.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation.
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