On September 22, 2010, many of the popular parts of health care reform legislation went into effect:
- dependents will be covered under parent’s insurance up to age 26,
- children will no longer be denied coverage because of preexisting medical conditions, and
- lifetime limits on coverage will be eliminated.
It might have been nice to put such popular reforms into law by themselves, instead of as part of an enormous reform package that few can get their heads around.
Unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, and reforms like these can’t work without addressing other issues. For example, if children can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, something would have to prevent all children from being left uncovered until they got sick. Since carrying insurance isn’t yet a requirement, some insurers are balking at selling child-only health insurance policies.
To get the benefits of expanded coverage, mandated coverage is essential. Is the cost worth the benefit? It will be interesting to see how important people find the new benefits and whether they will be willing to gut them in the future.