The good things the new health care reform will do is pretty incredible. And a lot of them start right away, or at least sometime this year.
- Ban on denial of children because of pre-existing conditions
- Tax credits for small businesses to assist with employee's insurance premiums, up to 50% of the premium cost.
- Rebates for seniors to help cover the medication coverage expenditure limitation in Medicare
- Cutoff for young adults being on their parents' insurance policy is reset to age 27.
- Lifetime caps on individual insurance are banned.
- High-risk insurance pool created for adults with pre-existing conditions
- New insurance plans must include preventative care without co-pays
- Insurance companies are banned from cutting someone's insurance once they get sick
- Insurance companies must reveal how much money they output on administrative costs and profits
- There will finally be an appeals process for coverage and claims for the patient
- New screening processes to tackle health insurance fraud
- Medicare payment protections will be extended to small and rural hospitals.
- Nutritional content will have to be disclosed by chain restaurants
- Annual wellness visits and prevention care for Medicare recipients
- Medicaid plans that would allow states to offer home and community care for the disabled
- Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage frozen at 2010 level to bring costs in line with Medicare.
- Employers must disclose the value of employees' health benefits on their W-2
- Insurance companies required to spend 80-85 of premiums on actual health care, or they will be required to issue a rebate to the patient for the difference
- Move in Medicare and Medicaid to track admissions to prevent readmissions because of preventable issues.
- Medicare payroll tax increased for individuals earning > $200,000 per year, or couples earning > $250,000 per year.
- Ban on discrimination for adults with pre-existing conditions
- Insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals
- Annual limits for insurance will be banned
- All plans must include preventative care without co-pays
There are still a number of fixes that will need to be put into law, like a lot of earmarks and fluff removed...as well as the affirmation that federal dollars will not be spent on abortion services. I hope the Republicans will be kind in their treatment of these fixes.