On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the health care reform bill, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Its goal is to lower health care costs, provide greater access to health care and enhance the quality of care Americans receive.
Some of the provisions that have been rolled out already include:
- Adult children are eligible for coverage under their parents’ group health plan up to the age of 26;
- Members under age 19 may be covered, even with pre-existing medical conditions;
- Certain preventive care services are covered at 100% when services are provided through an in-network provider;
- Lifetime dollar limits are no longer applied to Essential Health Benefits;
- Flexible spending account (FSA) dollars cannot be used to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications at a pharmacy, supermarket or other retail store without a prescription;
- A prior approval is not required before seeking emergency care at a network or non-network hospital.
One of the biggest changes will occur in October 2013, when people can begin to purchase and enroll in health plans offered through the health insurance marketplaces, for benefits effective January 1, 2014. The federal and state governments are setting up marketplaces in the states to offer a choice of health plans, with common rules and information to help consumers better understand the options available to them.
For more information on health care reform and how it affects you, go to healthcare.gov or uhc.com/reform.
This communication is not intended as legal or tax advice. Please contact a competent legal or tax professional for personal advice on eligibility, tax treatment and restrictions. Federal and state laws and regulations are subject to change.