Some Health Reform Provisions To Have Immediate Effect

TOPIC ALERT:

Some provisions of the health care reform bill (HR 3590) recently signed into law will have an immediate effect in California, while others will not take effect for a few years, the Orange County Register reports.

Policies that will go into effect immediately include those that:

  • Allow people under age 26 to stay on their parents' insurance plans;
  • Grant small businesses tax credits of up to 35% to offset the cost of providing health insurance;
  • Establish within 90 days of the bill becoming law high-risk pools for uninsured residents who have pre-existing conditions; and
  • Restrict insurers from cancelling policies due to illness or placing lifetime caps on coverage amounts.

Beginning in 2014, Californians will benefit from provisions that:

  • Allow small business owners to join state health insurance exchanges and receive tax credits of up to 50% of the cost of coverage through 2016;
  • Prohibit insurers from denying coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions; and
  • Require most U.S. residents to purchase health care coverage (Hall, Orange County Register, 3/23).

Broadcast Coverage

On Wednesday, KQED's "Forum" will feature a discussion about how national health care reform will affect Californians. The panelists include:

  • Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clinica De La Raza;
  • Paul Markovich, COO of Blue Shield of California; and
  • Marian Mulkey, senior program officer at the California HealthCare Foundation. (Shafer, "Forum," KQED, 3/24).

CHCF is the publisher of California Healthline.

On Tuesday, KQED's "The California Report" looked at what the national health care reform bill means for Californians, health care providers in the state and California health insurance programs. The segment includes a discussion with "The California Report" health care reporter Sarah Varney (Myrow, "The California Report," KQED, 2/23).

Robert Forster
Sorry I missed the panel discussion of the distinguished guests. The devil is always in the details, but it is clear that the immediate effects of the bill were to market to the public before the tax bill comes. First, 21-26y/o's typically are infrequent utilizers of healthcare delivery, and catestrophic insurance not comprehensive is more appropriate and cost effective. First dollar coverage in this age category makes no sense fiscally. Second, tax credits for small groups will assist small employers to insure their employees to some limited extent-it will cost with higher taxes for all. Third, high risk pools are not new and most ultimately fold financially. Significant tax supplementation will be needed for success--access will be improved for sure. Lastly, in California a healthplan can only cancel a member for two reasons: if they stop paying for their insurance and secondly if they fraudulently apply for the insurance in the individual market. This should be a non issue.

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