Sunday, November 18, 2012

Health care reform

Now that the stupid election is over and we can  now focus on more important things than candidate hair styles, scandals, and mud slinging, we can take another look at health care reform. If Mr. Romney had been elected health care reform would probably have been on the chopping block. In the meantime, now that it is still alive, the poor insurance companies and hospitals have to make changes - note the sarcasm and lack of sympathy.

In the next five years more and more changes will be rolled out. Of the 91 changes, 60 are already in effect. You can see the full implementation timeline on at the Kaiser Foundation here. The last one takes effect January 1, 2018.

Some of the good changes are already in place - up to age 26 on parents health plan and temporary insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. There are still some new ones yet to start such as:

  • Financial Disclosure: Requires disclosure of financial relationships between health entities, including physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, other providers, and manufacturers and distributors of covered drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies. The first report is due to Congress April 1, 2013.   Ooh, all these hidden payments will now become visible.
  • No Annual Limits on Insurance coverage
  • Guaranteed availability of insurance: Requires guarantee issue and renewability of health insurance regardless of health status and allows rating variation based only on age (limited to a 3 to 1 ratio), geographic area, family composition, and tobacco use (limited to 1.5. to 1 ratio) in the individual and the small group market and the Exchanges.
I admit there are some parts of the bill that I don't like as much but overall I think this is forcing change on health insurance, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies as well as on medical centers, doctors, and hospitals.  The system was broken and I hope to see some positive outcomes for patients. After all, we are the ones that receive all this care so we should be better off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU so much for that comprehensive summary of the law by year (from Kaiser Foundation.). Excellent resource! Robin

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