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Healthcare Reform Provisions Begin

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, September 23, 2010

The new healthcare reform law turns six months old on Thursday, and with it come new key coverage requirements that go into effect. Healthcare consumers are more likely to feel the impact of these new measures, but healthcare providers could see some changes, too, such as more patients—including those with pre-existing or chronic conditions—seeking their services.

The rollout of these reform measures, though, may be confusing because their actual start date will depend on when a particular health insurance plan year starts, or when it started. While the new requirements go into effect Sept. 23, these requirements for health plans will be implemented when their actual year of coverage begins (such as Jan. 1, the start of the calendar year).

In addition, "grandfathered" plans--or those plans in existence before the healthcare reform legislation was signed into law— may have to meet only some of the requirements. Other plans—specifically new healthcare plans and those that make significant changes in benefits, deductibles, copayments, or share of premium contributions—will be required to comply with most of the law's changes.

Here is an overview of the provisions that take effect September 23:

Young adult coverage: Young adults can stay on or be added to their parents' health insurance plan through age 26. These young adults do not need to live with their parents and they can be married. However, that child's spouse or children is not required to be covered under the rule.

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