Okay, like I usually say in my posts – I always want to know the bottom line.  But even for me, providing a summary of the bottom line (below) on the newly passed Health Insurance Reform Law was a challenge.

In any case, I will attempt to do so anyway because there is a lot of confusion out there.  The actual health reform law is many thousands of pages.  And let’s face it, only a handful of people have actually read all pages.  I believe my summary below is, for the moment, all you really need to know because these are the provisions that will directly affect you this year.

Here it goes.  The summary is in chronological order because different parts of the bill take effect in different time frames.  There are other provisions, some of which I will point out, that are likely to affect you down the road.

Most Important Provisions Effective this year – 2010:

  1. People with pre-existing conditions will have access to insurance coverage
  2. Small businesses will get up to 35% credit for providing health care to their employees
  3. No new plan or existing plan can exclude coverage for children with pre-existing conditions
  4. No health plan can rescind health care coverage to avoid the cost of a person who gets sick while under its health care plan
  5. No heath plan can impose an annual limit on health care costs for individuals
  6. All new plans must provide 100% coverage for preventative treatment (such as shots and checkups)
  7. Dependent coverage is extended up to 26 years of age unless they are being covered by their own employer
  8. A new temporary reinsurance program is created (until exchanges become available) to help employers cover benefits for retirees who are not in Medicare (age 55-64)
  9. A new independent appeals process is established to determine coverage
  10. A new fund is established to help states set up a Consumer Assistance Office for health insurance
  11. Secretary of HHS is required to establish a website through which anyone in any state can find low cost health insurance options available in their particular state
  12. Required better screening for health care providers to cut fraud and waste in the system
  13. $250 rebate is provided to medicare Part D enrollees who fall into the so called “donut hole” where no currently no coverage is provided for costs between $2700 and $6154.
  14. Extends Medicare payment protections for Rural providers
  15. States will have a new option to cover parents and childless adults with incomes up to 133% of the Federal poverty level
  16. A new 10% tax will be imposed on indor tanning services (in lieu of the tax on cosmetic surgery)
  17. Will provide grants to states to help them fight unjustified premium increases by health Insurance companies

2010 laws that won’t effect you right away, but May affect your down the road:

  • Interagency council is created to promote healthy policies
  • More resource provided to HHS department to increase quality of Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP
  • Establishes a private non-profit institute to do research and figure out new strategies to increase health treatment effectiveness
  • New requirements for non-profit hospitals
  • Expands the adoption tax credit and adoption assistance exclusion by $1000 through 2011
  • Two year temporary credit to encourage investment in new therapies to prevent and treat diseases
  • Provides tax credits on state loans for doctors and health professionals who choose to practice in under served areas
  • Income tax credits for people receiving care by Indian Tribal Governments
  • Establishes an independent national health care workforce commission to unbiased recommendations to congress to improve healthcare
  • Specials allowance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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