March 23, 2010, was the day many health insurance agents first got the hint that our world was going to blow up, professionally speaking. The biggest overhaul in America's health care system, health care reform, the PPACA, had been signed into law, but what was it really going to mean?
That wasn't, and still isn't, entirely clear. Much of the law still needs to be defined, and this article in the L.A. Times outlines the real truth, that most Americans still don't know what it will bring. Health insurance agents get information daily, about what's happening nationally, and state by state, who's going to set up an exchange, who's not going to set up an exchange, who is going to include agents in selling exchange based plans and who's not. But in many respects, we're still flying blind and hoping for the best. So far what we really have in health insurance reform. And don't get me wrong, the system absolutely needed something, just not sure this is it.
What is definite?
- Health insurance for kids under age 19 is guaranteed issue now, but those with health issues can be charged above standard rates. A lot of people don't realize that this is not across the board yet, but supposedly will be January 1, 2014.
- A specific list of preventive services is now to be covered at no share of cost, prior to meeting the deductible, when seeing a care provider contracted with your insurance company. Not everything labeled as preventive qualifies.
- No lifetime maximums on benefits to be paid. Not a huge factor since most people don't accrue millions of dollars in health care costs, but for those who do, thank goodness!
- On individual plan portfolios, carriers must spend at least 80% of the insurance premiums on health CARE, not administrative costs. Well, first thing to get slashed was agent commissions. What if they could really save on cost of care and come in below 80% without jeopardizing care? Hasn't been taken into consideration.
What is also definite are insurance premiums will continue to go up. I'm hearing scary numbers. There are other things that have been defined, but I want to keep this article somewhat positive. There is going to be more and more information bombarding you in the coming months, so stay tuned. We're doing our best to keep up and keep our clients informed, so subscribe here, and I'll do my best to keep you posted on this and Step Two, Health CARE reform.