Monday, October 18, 2010

Ch-Ch-Changes, ObamaCare© style

As we move further out from September 23rd, the state of the individual health insurance market continues to crystallize. Here's what we know as of this morning (October 18, 2010).

Plans that have "grandfathered" status are subject to some (but not all) ObamaCare© provisions. Of course, it's likely that these plans will quickly lose this vaunted status as insureds make changes to keep their plans affordable. These changes comprise:

■ Expanded Dependent Coverage
■ No Lifetime Limits
■ New Patient Protections
■ New Limitations on Rescission

Newly-written plans, and those which have already lost their grandfathered status, "enjoy" these benefits:

■ Expanded Dependent Coverage
■ No Annual Dollar or Lifetime Limits
■ Expanded Preventive Care
■ No Pre-existing Condition Waiting Period for Children under 19
■ New Patient Protections
■ New Limitations on Rescission

Interestingly, some ostensibly grandfathered plans will also be subject to these provisions, as well; it's not at all clear what benefit their grandfathered status still confers on them.

In related news, Anthem (and perhaps some others) will be offering an "Open Enrollment" period during November. Only two "classes" of insureds are eligible:

Adult Dependents (from age 19 to age 28) who are not currently enrolled on a member's policy or who were previously canceled from a member's policy due to age, student or marital status are eligible for enrollment. The member's policy to which the adult dependent will be added must have an effective date prior to September 23, 2010 [ed: in other words, must be grandfathered].

A covered family member who previously reached his or her lifetime maximum can enroll for benefits on a member's existing policy during this special period.

We're still awaiting word on how much lower premiums will be due to these enhancements.

[Hat Tip: Anthem BCBS]
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