Consumer, Insurers Prepare As More Health Law Provisions Will Take Effect Next Month
News reports cover the progress and challenges of rolling out the sweeping health overhaul law.
Associated Press: Health care reform hits another milestone next month, with new provisions that include a coverage expansion for young adults and restrictions on an insurer's ability to impose annual coverage limits or to reject children with pre-existing medical conditions. Insurance coverage that starts on or after Sept. 23 will have to comply with these changes and others that were put in place when President Barack Obama signed the health overhaul into law March 23." Many plans won't renew until later on (Murphy, 8/3).
NPR: The responsibility for implementing much of the health law falls to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In an interview, she said that "the law should prompt competition in the health care marketplace. Too often 'one insurance company has the whole ballgame' in many states, she tells NPR's Tony Cox." Provisions that require insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their premium revenues on health care services might help with high insurance costs once they are implemented she said (8/3).
CNN Money: Consumers should make sure to pay attention to their plans as these changes go into effect. "If you gloss over your benefits materials at open enrollment this year, you may be setting yourself up for a nasty surprise at the doctor's office. Many self insured companies will be exempted from some of health reform's key benefit improvements," such as a requirement that insurers cover many preventive services without cost-sharing (Kavilanz, 8/3).
Politico: "A party convention resolution targeting three North Carolina House Democrats suggests there may be lingering resentment toward the lawmakers for their opposition to health care reform. At the North Carolina Democratic Party convention in Fayetteville over the weekend, attendees voted down a harshly worded resolution condemning Reps. Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler and Larry Kissell for their stances. A watered-down version urging the congressmen not to support a repeal of the health care legislation, however, did pass" (Isenstadt, 8/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.