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Happy Half Birthday, Health Reform!

Six months ago today, the President signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Not only are we commemorating that moment — which kick-started largest expansion of health coverage since the establishment of Medicare and the greatest simplification of healthcare delivery systems ever — but today is also the day when a number of the law’s first provisions take affect.

These include:
• Extending dependent coverage to children until age 26 for all individual and group polices;
• Providing preventive care services at no cost sharing for infants, children, adolescents, and women;
• Barring employer and new individual health plans from imposing pre-existing condition exclusion on children’s coverage;
• Prohibiting individual and group health plans from rescinding coverage and from imposing a lifetime limit on the dollar value of coverage;
• Requiring new group and individual health plans to develop and implement an internal and external appeals process for coverage determination and claims; and
• Requiring health plans to report their Medical Loss Ratios (the percent of the premiums and co-pays they receive that they spend on patient care) in individual and small group markets.

More about these policies and all of the other important health reform dates and deadlines can be found in ITUP’s handy Updated Implementation Timeline. Print it out today!

And raise a glass (of refreshing, healthy water) to the PPACA!
He’s growing up so fast!