How Will Health-Care Reform Affect Me?

By Kliff, Research Sarah | Newsweek, January 11, 2010 | Go to article overview
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How Will Health-Care Reform Affect Me?


Kliff, Research Sarah, Newsweek


Byline: Research by Sarah Kliff

It's a long way from law (a conference committee will work out the differences between the House and Senate versions), but House negotiators are expected to largely acquiesce to the Senate, where Democrats can't afford to lose a single vote. Here's what to expect:

Exchanges Will Provide Affordable Plans

Individuals and small businesses can buy insurance through government-regulated health-insurance exchanges. Insurers must provide coverage that in 2010 would cost no more than $5,950 for an individual, $11,900 for a family.

You Cannot Be Denied Coverage Based On A Preexisting Condition

Until this regulation goes into effect in 2014, the government will spend $5 billion to subsidize a high-risk pool for those with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for more than six months.

'Cadillac' Plans May Be Eliminated

That portion of a premium exceeding $8,500 for an individual ($23,000 for a family) will be subject to a 40 percent tax paid by the insurer, discouraging such plans. Goldman Sachs offers a plan in excess of that--but so does California's West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Your Kids Can stay On Your Insurance Longer

Insurers typically cut off dependents upon their graduation from high school or college (20-somethings account for 30 percent of the uninsured). The age would be extended to 26.

Medicare drug benefits will improve

Drug manufacturers must discount brand-name drugs by 50 percent for those spending between $2,700 and $6,154 annually on prescriptions (a.

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