KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

News Outlets Examine What You Should Know About New Health Law Provisions

USA Today, on how the new health law has started helping consumers: "Provisions of the health care reform law that took effect Sept. 23 prohibit some of the industry's most controversial practices." Insurers must now cover children with pre-existing conditions and cover preventive care for everyone. Indeed, though some "grandfathered" plans - those in existence when the health law went into effect - may still not be required to cover kids with pre-existing conditions, there are other prohibitions against insurers such as an end to rescissions that allowed insurers to deny coverage to clients when they got sick (Block, 9/28).

Related, earlier KHN feature: A Guide To Sept. 23: Health Law's Big Day 

CNBC/Today also has a consumer guide. "Health plans can no longer impose dollar limits on benefits like hospitalization and expensive treatments, so you can no longer max out of your plan. Yearly dollar limits are also expanded to no less than $750,000. … Insurance consultants say the adult child coverage may be the change that will generate the biggest immediate change for most of us this year. 'Expansion of coverage to age 26 is a significant one,' says Ron Fontanetta of benefits consulting firm Towers Watson. But, he says, keeping or adding an adult child to your plan may not be the best option financially. For parents trying to add an adult child back onto their plan, it may be cheaper to help the child buy their own insurance, because employers typically make workers pick up a bigger chunk of cost for family plans than for individual coverage" (Coombs, 9/23).

Philadelphia Daily News: "New health-care terms and coverage options were outlined in 'The Young Person's Guide to Health Insurance,' a pamphlet distributed to students on Temple [University's] campus at a news conference yesterday." But, "although many students will benefit from the additional years spent on their parents' plans, students who have plans through their schools may be in danger. Higher-education associations, the American College Health Association and the American Council on Education said that the new law could eliminate student health plans altogether. The two groups are concerned that there is no specific language in the law that explains whether student plans meet the law's minimum-coverage requirement. If they don't, schools would be forced to upgrade plans offered to students. That cost may eventually force schools to drop coverage for students, the groups say" (Muse, 9/28).

Toledo Blade: In Ohio, Families USA says that "[m]ore than 1 million Ohioans will qualify for an estimated $4.1 billion in health care tax credits" in 2014,. "Those who qualify for assistance to buy nongroup health insurance would, based on their household incomes, receive anywhere from $484 to $2,258 a year in credits, which would be available at the time the insurance was purchased, said Ron Pollack, executive director of the organization" (Vellequette, 9/28).

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