Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Update on insurance caps

This comes from the National Organization for Rare Disorder's monthly newsletter. It's an update on an issue we've supported - doing away with lifetime coverage caps. It's an issue of particular importance to those with rare disorders. Often treatments for rare disorders can be more expensive because there's a limited market for them. Also, often people with rare disorders need a lot of expensive care from an early age. Many easily max out insurance limits, sometimes even before adulthood.

Here's the update from NORD.

Insurance Caps to be Eliminated
With Senate and House approval late last week of the healthcare reform reconciliation bill, the annual and lifetime insurance caps strongly opposed by NORD and its Member Organizations have now been addressed. Lifetime caps will be eliminated from all insurance plans, new and existing, six months after enactment of the bill. Annual limits will be restricted until 2014 and then eliminated altogether.
Another issue of importance to NORD, discrimination based on health status and/or pre-existing conditions, appears to have been resolved. By 2014, insurers will no longer be able to reject applicants on the basis of health status. A temporary high-risk pool will provide coverage in the meantime. Also, starting later this year, insurers will no longer be able to exclude coverage for specific problems for children with pre-existing conditions. However, as of this writing, some insurers were interpreting the language of this part of the bill differently. NORD will be watching closely as this scenario unfolds.

Kaiser Health News has prepared a short
consumer’s guide to the major points in the legislation.

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