PPACA law drives access

May 1, 2010

Under pressure from the Obama administration, insurers say they will not deny health coverage for sick children pending new regulations, and would follow the intent of the law, not the exact language of it.

A SCUFFLE LAST MONTH foreshadowed a hint of the challenges to come. The industry questioned whether plans would cover children with pre-existing medical problems right away, or delay doing so until next September, which the law, as written, seems to permit.

Under pressure from the Obama administration, insurers said they would not deny health insurance for sick children pending new regulations and would follow the intent of the law, not the exact language of it.

Insurers also moved quickly to confirm that they would provide dependent coverage for children up to age 26 in individual and group policies and would begin revising plans to reduce lifetime and annual limits on coverage and halt policy rescissions.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, 89% of leaders in healthcare and health policy believe the new law will successfully expand access to affordable health insurance. Additionally, 90% of the 1,300 opinion leaders surveyed believe new insurance market rules are important or very important priorities.

-Jill Wechsler and Julie Miller