2010


  • Consumer Informational Website.  Allows consumers to compare health insurance coverage options.  July 1.
  • Prohibit Denying Children Coverage.  New rules to prevent insurers from denying coverage to children under the age of 19 based on pre-existing condition.  Effective for health plan years beginning on after September 23, 2010.
  • Eliminates Lifetime Limits.  Insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, i.e. hospital stays.  Effective for health plan years beginning on after September 23, 2010.
  • Regulates Annual Limits.  Restricts insurers’ use of annual dollar limits for new plans in the individual market and all group plans.  In 2014, the use of annual dollar limits on essential benefits, i.e. hospital stays will be banned for new plans in individual market and all group plans.  Effective for health plan years beginning on after September 23, 2010.
  • Appeal Insurer Decisions.  Law provides consumers a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurer, and establishes external review process.  Effective for health plan years beginning on after September 23, 2010.
  • Consumer Assistance Programs.  These programs assist consumers with filing complaints and appeals; enrolling in health coverage; and educating consumers as to their rights and responsibilities in group or individual plans.  The programs also collect data on types of problems faced by consumers, and files reports to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services to identify trouble spots.  October.
  • Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits.  First phase provides a credit worth up to 35% of employer’s contribution to employees’ health insurance.  Small non-profit organizations may receive up to 25%.  2010.
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Relief.  Each eligible senior hitting the prescription “Donut Hole” will receive a one-time, tax free $250 rebate check.
  • Free Preventive Care.  All new plans must cover certain preventive care at no charge.  Effective for health plan years beginning on after September 23, 2010.
  • Access for Uninsured.  Access to insurance for the Uninsured with pre-existing conditions.  New coverage options available to individuals uninsured for at least six months.  July 1.