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New report: State action on Affordable Care Act's 2014 health insurance market reforms
Date:1/31/2013

New York, NY, February 1, 2013Only 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws or issued regulations to implement the Affordable Care Act's major health insurance market reforms that go into effect in 2014, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Thirty-nine states have not yet taken action to implement these requirements, potentially limiting their ability to fully enforce the new reforms and ensure that consumers receive the full protections of the law. These reforms include bans on denying people health insurance due to preexisting conditions, a minimum benefit standard, and limits on out-of-pocket costs.

According to the report, Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action on 2014 Market Reforms, by Katie Keith, Kevin W. Lucia, and Sabrina Corlette of Georgetown University, states that do not pass new legislation or issue new regulations may lack the authority and tools necessary to ensure that health insurance companies in their state are complying with the new rules, unless regulators have existing authority to enforce federal law. If states fail to ensure compliance with the rules, responsibility for enforcement, the authors say, could default to the federal government.

"The reforms to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are a huge boon to consumers, who for decades have been forced to buy health insurance in a marketplace where insurers can discriminate against anyone who is sick," said Commonwealth Fund vice president Sara Collins. "This all changes in 2014. But because insurance regulation falls to the states, states need to take action to make sure they can enforce the law and ensure their residents can fully benefit from it."

The health insurance market reforms that begin in 2014 apply to plans both inside and outside the exchange and include:

  • Guaranteed Issue: Requires insurers to accept every individual and employer that applies for coverage.
  • Ban on Waiting Period
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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