Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Five questions: Health reform FAQ

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, left, participates in an online chat regarding the Affordable Care Act in the Lawrence Journal-World News Center while public information officer Bob Hanson looks on. Praeger recently issued answers to frequently asked questions about the health reform law.

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, left, participates in an online chat regarding the Affordable Care Act in the Lawrence Journal-World News Center while public information officer Bob Hanson looks on. Praeger recently issued answers to frequently asked questions about the health reform law.

September 11, 2012, 11:42 a.m.

Updated: September 12, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, recently issued frequently asked questions regarding the Affordable Care Act, the national health reform law passed in 2010. Below are five of the questions; find more at ksinsurance.org.

Q: Are any parts of the act in effect right now?

A: Yes. A few examples: you can receive preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs; children with pre-existing conditions can’t be turned down for coverage; young adults up to age 26 can stay on their family health insurance.

Q: What goes into effect in 2014?

A: Insurance companies will be required to provide coverage to anyone who applies. The premium you pay will be based only on age, use of tobacco products, where you live, and the number of people insured, not on your health condition or gender. Also, you will be able to buy insurance online through a health insurance exchange.

Q: What is a health insurance exchange?

A: An online marketplace set up under the law where individuals and small businesses can shop for health plans from private insurance companies. Each state’s exchange is set to begin Jan. 1, 2014. People may seek federal financial assistance when they apply, and if a person qualifies for Medicaid, they will be referred to the state Medicaid program.

Q: Will Medicare change?

A: The law does not cut benefits to regular Medicare beneficiaries. Also, more preventive services are now covered, and prescription drug coverage improves.

Q: What about dental coverage under the law?

A: It only requires health insurance plans to include children’s dental benefits in the approved plans.

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