Today, your child cannot be denied health insurance if they're sick. Starting Jan.1, 2014, this applies to adults as well. Other benefit changes are in place now and more are coming next year.
Most health plans must cover preventive services (www.healthcare.gov) with no cost-sharing. This means you won't pay a copay or coinsurance for certain medical services, such as immunizations and blood pressure screening.
Essential health benefits
Starting Jan. 1, 2014, all individual and small employer health plans must include the following 10 categories of essential health benefits:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and treatment of substance abuse disorders, including behavioral health treatment
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
Most health plans are not allowed to have annual benefit limits and none are allowed to have lifetime benefit limits.
Summary of benefits and coverage
Today, every insurance company must give you a summary of the plan's benefits and coverage as well as a glossary of commonly used terms before you enroll and each year when your plan renews. These documents are designed to help you understand your benefits and your coverage limits in clear and concise language.