Parts of Healthcare Reform Go into Effect

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) — All provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be in effect by 2014, but parts went into effect Thursday, U.S. officials said.

A statement by the Department of Health and Human Services says as of Thursday, health insurers will no longer be able to:

– Deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage for a child younger than age 19 because he or she has a pre-existing condition like asthma.

– Put lifetime limits on benefits. Insurance plans can no longer put a lifetime dollar limit on the benefits of people with costly conditions like cancer.

– Cancel a policy solely because a policyholder or his or her employer made an honest mistake on an insurance application.

– Deny claims without a chance for appeal, which can include an independent reviewer.

Those with health insurance will be able to:

– Receive cost-free preventive services such as screening for breast cancer, vaccinations and counseling without any out-of-pocket costs.

– Keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26.

– Choose a primary care doctor, obstetrician/gynecologist and pediatrician from the health plan’s provider network.

– Use the nearest emergency room without penalty or prior approval.

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