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Affordable Care Act celebrates 6 month anniversary!

September 23, 2010
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Today marks the six month anniversary of the passing of the Affordable Care Act, and the implementation of the Patients’ Bill of Rights. Some of the policies that go into effect are:

–         Young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

–         Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage if you get sick.

–         Plans can’t impose lifetime limits on coverage, and annual limits will be phased out over three years.

–         Children can’t be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.

–         Several preventative procedures such as colonoscopies or mammograms must be covered without co-pays.

FCNL worked extremely hard to get this law passed, doubtless one of the most significant pieces of legislation to pass in many years. The current political climate surrounding the law is tense, and the necessary adjustments that the health care industry will make won’t be easy, but the Affordable Care Act is expected to extend coverage to 32 million Americans and reduce the deficit by over $1 trillion over the next ten years.

Two nights ago, I found out my sister’s application for coverage was denied. The reason was because of inconsistencies between her application and her medical records. Basically, on two occasions doctors filed a visit under one category that the insurer interpreted as a preexisting condition, all unbeknownst to my sister. It was a small technical mistake and now my extremely smart, capable (and healthy) older sister, a graduate student, doesn’t have health insurance. Luckily, under the new Patients’ Bill of Rights, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a mistake on your application. Rest easy, sis, not all hope is lost.

Provisions of the law will be going into effect over the next several years, so stay informed. Know what’s happening with your rights and opportunities under the new health care and insurance laws. Healthcare.gov is a website managed by the Department of Health and Human Services that can help you learn about the Affordable Care Act and look for insurance. Also, take good care of yourselves everyday.

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