Navigation Links
New Health Reforms Take Effect

By Karen Pallarito
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Thursday marks the six-month anniversary of enactment of the sweeping U.S. health reform legislation, and the day that a number of key provisions of the law begin to take effect.

President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23. The law will expand health insurance access to 94 percent of non-elderly Americans by 2019 and, in the interim, provides Americans with many new rights and protections.

"We're seeing the delivery of some of the first promises of reform and there's a lot more to come," said Karen Davenport, director of health policy at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for American Progress.

Here are some of the new reforms set to take effect Thursday. For health plans that operate on a calendar year, many of these provisions will be rolled out on Jan. 1, 2011:

  • Health plans may no longer deny coverage to children based on pre-existing health conditions.
  • Health plans that offer dependent coverage must allow children to stay on a parent's family policy until age 26.
  • New health plans must offer preventive services such as mammograms and colon cancer screenings without charging a deductible, co-payment or coinsurance. (This provision does not apply to existing plans that are "grandfathered," and health plans may require consumer cost-sharing for preventive services received out-of-network.)
  • Health plans that are not grandfathered must provide direct access to a gynecologist without requiring a referral from another doctor.
  • Insurers may no longer place lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits.

Eliminating lifetime caps should provide significant relief for people who are seriously ill or traumatically injured or whose newborn children run up substantial medical bills because of care they receive in a hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

"We have insurance because we're trying to have financial protection against exactly those kinds of problems," Davenport said. "It's something that all of us hope we never even have to think about, but having it there is going to be really valuable to the people who are in that really horrible situation."

Kirsten Sloan, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, said, "The most important thing about today is that a number of very important insurance reforms go into effect, which makes it easier for women and families to find and maintain or keep insurance."

But many people aren't happy with the new law, and health reform remains a politically charged issue, and one that is likely to have a ripple effect in the November elections.

Seeking to muster public support for the reform package, President Barack Obama on Wednesday talked up the new law at a backyard gathering in Falls Church, Va.

Highlighting the new provisions, Obama said, "All of this is going to lower premiums. It's going to make health care more affordable. It's going to give you more security," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

But the House of Representatives' Republican Conference released Thursday a pledge to voters outlining key priorities, including "a plan to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care."

The House Republicans' agenda "will focus on getting this economy moving again, getting spending under control, and, yes, it includes rolling back both the failed economic policies and broadly rejected government takeover of health care enacted last March," Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, who chairs the House Republican Conference, said Thursday on the CBS Early Show.

Consumers remain roughly divided over the law.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's most recent monthly health reform tracking poll found 49 percent in favor of the law and 40 percent opposed, foundation President and Chief Executive Drew Altman noted in a column Thursday in the Washington Post.

More information

The federal government has more details of the health reform package.

SOURCES: Karen Davenport, director, health policy, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.; Kirsten Sloan, vice president, National Partnership for Women and Families, Washington, D.C.;; House Republican Conference pledge, (; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; CBS News; Washington Post

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Patients with cancer who stop hospice care boost health-care costs
2. New map offers a global view of health-sapping air pollution
3. Increased attention to womens health research has yielded gains on some important conditions, but progress lags on others
4. Losing your religion deemed unhealthy
5. Gum disease found to be significant public health concern
6. NYC public school students have high levels of access to convenience stores with unhealthy food
7. Nationwide Health Information Network now carries public health data
8. NIH celebrates 10 years of research into health disparities
9. 11-state regional Public Health Law Network office to be established at ASU College of Law
10. New resource to explain the health care law
11. Benefits of increased health care transparency hinge on reliable and valid information, says ACP
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... "My ... digging his fists into his infected cheeks," said an inventor from Platteville, Colo. "I ... their skin problems." , He developed the UNTOUCHABLE to prevent a child from rubbing ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Nashville, Tennessee (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... owned leader of anesthesia and pain management services, today announced its partnership with ... the partnership integrates data from disparate systems and organizes the data into an ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... According to an article published October 5th ... who successfully lose weight with a bariatric procedure are much less likely to develop ... notes that anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of all endometrial cancer cases are ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and workflow solutions, announced today their sponsorship of the Microsoft Dynamics AXUG, GPUG ... Nevada. AXUG Summit, GPUG Summit and NAVUG Summit are independent user conferences designed ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... TEXAS (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... and solution provider of IBM software products, introduced a new company, RightSensorâ„¢ LLC, ... systems and data communications capability. RightSensorâ„¢ provides a fully-managed approach for customers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... VIVA Physicians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ... education and research, is excited to announce the late-breaking ... trial results, featuring the latest in vascular technology and ... Monday and Tuesday, November 2 and 3 at the ... --> Since 2003, VIVA Physicians has sponsored this ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... BROOMFIELD, Colo. , Oct. 13, 2015  The ... a global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, will showcase its ... North American Spine Society (NASS) annual meeting, October 14-17, ... Biomet will also host two clinical events: ... Hall Floor Presentation Wednesday, October 14 12:30 – 1 ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... PITTSBURGH , Oct. 13, 2015  Data Science Automation ... the opening of a new branch office in the ... of DSA,s presence in Europe . The ... the increasing demand for local support of customers in the ... , Ph.D., DSA,s UK Branch Manager. "We have had tremendous ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: