Posted by Macon Phillips on March 06, 2010 at 06:04 AM EST
In this week’s address, President Obama describes how American families will have more control over their health care this year, after health reform passes.
Here are a few more points about how health insurance reform measures will benefit Americans this year:
Hold Insurance Companies Accountable:
* Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans;
* Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans;
* Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
* Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
* Establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums, requiring State insurance commissioners to work with the HHS Secretary and States.
* Provide grants to States to support health insurance consumer assistance and ombudsman programs to help consumers;
* Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
* Require all insurance plans to use uniform coverage documents so consumers can make easy comparisons when shopping for health insurance;
* Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options;
* Prohibit insurers from discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees by charging them lower premiums.
Ensure Affordable Choices and Quality Care:
* Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
* Create a temporary re-insurance program for early retirees;
* Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
* Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
* Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
* Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs.