Posts Tagged - ‘america’s health insurance plans’

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Obama Warns Insurers Against Circumventing Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Image: cliff1066™ under CC 3.0

Health insurance companies are preparing for the impact reform will have on them. Some of this preparation is gaining negative attention from President Obama–namely, increasing their rates severely before healthcare reform takes effect and significantly limits their ability to do so. Since the law will keep them from increasing rates solely for profit-maximizing purposes, they ideally want to have the highest floor before it becomes effective.

Today, he is holding a meeting at the White House to drive this point home further. Although the federal government doesn’t gain direct control over regulating health insurance plans, it gains more oversight responsibility. Their worst-case scenario is that insurers increase their rates before provisions begin taking effect this summer, while blaming the legislation for forcing them to make those moves.

The president of industry lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans, as well as executives from 13 health insurers and several state insurance commissioners, will attend the meeting. It is unclear whether it will have any actual impact on their actions. Some believe the summit is more of a political move, intended to protect Democrats against blowback in the midterm elections.

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Health Insurance Companies Backtrack On Denying Children

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

(Image: D Sharon Pruitt under CC 3.0)

Good news for those seeking family health insurance: despite concerns that the language in the healthcare reform bill could be interpreted as allowing health insurers to continue denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions until 2014–going against President Obama’s own statements, the insurers have decided to extend that coverage regardless.

Initially, some health insurance companies’ lawyers claimed that the immediate effect of the legislation in the next six months would solely prevent insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions of children they had already decided to underwrite. After public controversy and negative publicity, they have backtracked on that view. Instead, they have agreed to abide by the clear intent of the law: that kids should have access to affordable health insurance.

A letter from America’s Health Insurance Plans’ president Karen Ignagni assures Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that they will not seek loopholes. Rather, they will follow complementary regulations soon to be released by Sebelius’ office. Families can now breathe a little easier.

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