3 Big U.S. Insurers to Keep Health Reform-Related Changes
As we’ve tweeted about several times in the last few days, the Supreme Court is coming close to a decision on the 2010 health overhaul, and it seems like just about everyone has a stake in the outcome – hospitals, state health departments, preexisting condition health insurance plans, politicians on both sides of the aisle, young adults and college students, and budget planners, to name a few. One of the big questions is how the federal government, states, and outside organizations will deal with the parts of the law that have already been implemented, if all or part of it is overturned.
Yesterday, the insurance sector began to answer that question. Three major insurers, UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna, pledged to keep the changes they have already made, which largely increase benefits for consumers. According to an article by Tom Murphy of the Associated Press, WellPoint, which runs Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in many states, plans to announce its decision after the Supreme Court ruling. Other major insurers are likely to do the same.
All three companies plan to continue to cover preventive care, such as vaccinations and screenings, without a co-payment. They will also continue to allow young adults up to age 26 to receive coverage through their parents’ plans. In addition, UnitedHealth and Humana plan to remove lifetime limits on benefits and end rescission (ending a contract retroactively) except when fraud has taken place.
Although insurance companies generally opposed health reform when it was being debated in 2009 and 2010, many of its early provisions – such as young adult dependent coverage and coverage for preventive care – have been extremely popular since they were implemented, and customers are used to them, writes Mr. Murphy. Their cost has also been accounted for through premium increases during the past few years.
For more information, see:
- June 12, 2012: Insurers Stand Firm on Benefits, Wall Street Journal
- June 12, 2012: Insurers Moves Show No Turning Back on U.S. Health Law, Bloomberg
- June 11, 2012: UnitedHealth, Humana Plan to Keep Overhaul Elements, Chicago Sun-Times