Thursday, March 25, 2010

Consumer guide to Healthcare Reform

Q: How would the legislation affect the kind of insurance I could buy? Would it make it easier for me to get coverage, even if I have health problems?

A: If you have a medical condition, the bill would make it easier for you to get coverage; insurers would be barred from rejecting applicants based on health status once the exchanges are operating in 2014.

In the meantime, the bill would create a temporary high-risk insurance pool for people with medical problems who have been rejected by insurers and have been uninsured at least six months. That would occur this year.

And starting later this year, insurers could no longer exclude coverage for specific medical problems for children with pre-existing conditions, nor could they any longer set lifetime coverage limits for adults and kids.

In 2014, annual limits on coverage would be banned.

New policies sold on the exchanges would be required to cover a range of benefits, including hospitalizations, doctor visits, prescription drugs, maternity care and certain preventive tests.

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