On Health Reform’s 6-Month Anniversary, Numerous Provisions Kick InThe Associated Press: The new health law "starts delivering protections and dollars-and-cents benefits that Americans can grasp. But it won't affect all consumers the same way, which may cause confusion." The AP walks consumers through some of the provisions in a question and answer format (Johnson, 9/22).
Kaiser Health News' Health on the Hill features KHN's Laurie McGinley and Mary Agnes Carey as well as the Los Angeles Times' Noam Levey who run down a few changes to the law and what it means for consumers in a video. You can also read the transcript.
CNNMoney breaks down how specific changes will affect specific consumers. "If you get insurance through your boss: Many people who are insured through work won't notice immediate changes to their health plans until their health plans renew, which is tied to companies' open enrollment periods. Health plans offered through large employers usually get renewed on Jan. 1. But the mandates could kick in sooner for health plans sold to new entities or individuals after Sept. 23" (Kavilanz, 9/22).
Chicago Sun-Times: Other provisions that take effect Thursday including insurers being barred from dropping coverage when an enrollee gets sick. Insurers must also offer free preventive services, and employer and individual insurance plans will be prohibited from denying coverage to children younger than 19 who have pre-existing conditions. Parents will be able to insure their adult children up to age 26 (Knowles, 9/22).
(Columbia) Missourian: "A few other provisions took effect earlier this year, including a government-provided insurance plan for those who were uninsured because of pre-existing conditions. Although critics had warned that the mandated coverage requirements would cause insurance companies to drop offering various types of plans, the state's leading insurance organization said that was not happening" (Love, 9/21).
ABC News: "Additionally, several provisions may vary depending on where people live. The way high-risk pools are implemented vary from state to state, for example, as do the limits on how much insurance companies can raise their premiums. The consumer protections will not be free. Premiums will go up for everyone" (Tapper, 9/21).
USA Today: "'It's not like a switch gets flipped and everything gets changed on Sept. 23,' said Jennifer Tolbert, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy group. (KHN is a program of KFF.) Some changes won't apply to plans that are considered 'grandfathered' under the law, meaning they existed when the law was signed March 23 and haven't substantially changed. Those plans are supposed to notify policyholders of their grandfathered status, Tolbert said. Once plans make a substantial change - such as significantly raising co-payments or significantly reducing benefits or the amount an employer contributes - they are no longer grandfathered." Sebelius said an increase in insurance rate premiums should amount to only 1-2 percent from implementation of the provisions (Young, 9/22).
Related, earlier KHN stories:
A Consumer's Guide To The Health Law, Six Months In (Carey, 9/15)
Key Health Law Provisions Begin Sept. 23 (Andrews, 9/14)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.