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Nearly all states have taken action on Affordable Care Act's Patients' Bill of Rights
Date:3/21/2012

nflict with the federal law.

According to the authors, states had a relatively short turnaround time to implement the early market reforms. The legislation was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and implementation of the early market reforms went into effect just six months later. The mixed approaches to implementing the reforms may also have been a result of timing issues, including such factors as: reforms going into effect after most state legislatures had adjourned for 2010; short 2011 legislative sessions; changes in the state's political environment following midterm elections; and state budget crises. Others may have been cautious given the pending decision on the constitutionality of the law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"These findings show not only that the vast majority of states have taken action on the early market reforms but that states have adopted a range of pragmatic approaches to help ensure that their residents receive the full benefits of the consumer protections promised under the Affordable Care Act," said Keith.

Looking Ahead to 2014

States have a much longer lead time going into implementation for the 2014 reforms. But the authors caution that states may need to be more aggressive in their approaches with these reforms given that many are entirely new and do not exist in state law.

"Unlike the early market reforms, many of the 2014 reformssuch as a ban on denying insurance coverage based on preexisting conditions, and new rating requirementsdo not exist in state law. State standards may also be inconsistent with these reforms more often than with the early market reforms. Addressing these gaps will likely require states to make legislative or regulatory changes," the authors say.

Thus, to implement the 2014 reforms, states will likely have to go above and beyond the approach of reviewing insurer filings for compliance with the early reforms that some have taken. This is, in part, b
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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