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The Bill is Law…So What’s In It?

The sheer complexity of the health reform bill Law can make it a bit daunting to understand all the benefits. The major pillars of the Law (the individual mandate, health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and insurance subsidies) don’t activate for a number of years, but there are numerous provisions that go into effect much sooner.

For example, as soon as the President’s pen(s) signed the bill, small businesses became eligible for a 35% tax credit to offer their employees health insurance and seniors in the ‘doughnut hole’ became eligible for a rebate to help pay for the costs of prescription drugs. Effective immediately are also a number of new funding streams for nurse-managed health clinics, the National Health Service Corps, fellowship training grants in public health, and many more health-relate endeavors.

In September, health insurance companies will be forever banned from dropping coverage for individuals who get sick and denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, and dependents will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until their 26th birthday.

In January, primary care physicians will be eligible for a 10% bonus payment in Medicare, a public long-term care insurance program will become available, and health insurers will be required to cover tobacco cessation programs for pregnant women.

These are just a handful of the short-term implementations, and you can read through our more comprehensive list here:

Implementation Timeline for Health Reform, 2010-2011

We have also updated our health reform legislation summary matrix, which now includes the Senate bill, reconciliation bill, and manager’s amendment:

Federal Health Reform Summary