You have probably heard a lot about health care reform in the news. But how is the health law impacting you?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare as it is commonly referred to, became law in 2010 and its constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. Simply put, ACA is the law of the land and insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota are bound by law to comply with its provisions. When the law was passed, it was estimated that ACA would extend health insurance coverage to an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans by 2022.
Here is a look at some key provisions of ACA that have already taken effect:
— ACA signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010.
— Dependents allowed to stay on parents’ plan until age 26.
— Lifetime limits on insurance coverage removed.
— Children can no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
— Insurance companies not allowed to drop members after they get sick unless fraud is involved (BCBSND had not been doing this and still doesn’t do this).
— Insurers that spend less than 80 to 85 percent of member premiums on medical care required to give rebates to members for overcharging them (BCBSND has beat the federal requirements by a healthy margin and was not required to give rebates).
— Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of ACA in June 2012.
A complete timeline is available here. You can also check out some additional online resources from us to help you stay informed about health reform and insurance changes, including a tax credit calculator and how to receive an insurance quote.
While many parts of the landmark health care reform law have already gone into effect, a number of big changes are on the way this fall and in 2014. We will continue to share more info about health reform changes that will impact you and your family. Let us know if you have any questions.
Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.