The United States Department of Health and Human Services has released three regulations that essentially restate the health insurance market reforms in Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which will be enacted January 1, 2014. The Huffington Post breaks them down:
1. Health insurance companies must sell coverage to anyone who applies. They are prohibited to limiting how much people must pay additionally based on age, where they live, their family size and whether or not they use tobacco; people are also guaranteed renewal of health coverage every year. Health insurance companies also cannot charge women more than men.
2. Health insurance plans sold on the exchange program must cover benefits such as: ambulatory patient and emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services (including behavioral health treatment), prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services (including oral and vision care).
3. Employers must include wellness programs in workers’ health benefits – such as discounts to employees who quit smoking, lose weight or lower their cholesterol – to help prevent companies from using the programs to set prices to discriminate against workers who don’t meet the wellness programs’ standards.
For more information on the regulations and a summary of the new healthcare reform law, go here.
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