Health Reform Arrives on Thursday As Cost Debate Continues More changes to the American health care system take effect on Sept. 23 when provisions of the new "Patients Bill of Rights" become active as part of federal health care reform.

Among the measures, insurance companies will be prevented from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions, placing lifetime limits on the amount of coverage you can receive when you're sick, or charging extra for emergency services obtained outside their network. Children will now be allowed to remain on their parents' health plans until age 26, and consumers will be given stronger rights to appeal insurance company decisions to a third-party arbitrator.

The new law also prevents insurers from cutting off lifesaving coverage because of errors on your application, allows consumers to choose their own doctors within their networks and provides for recommended preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies and prenatal and new-baby care with no out-of-pocket costs.

While few disagree with the premise that the changes will bring some much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of American families, the debate still rages over whether the changes will bring the cost of health care down for the majority of Americans. However, the administration says health care reform law signed in March is already bearing fruit.

Signs of Savings Appear


On Sept. 21, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the average premium for 11.3 million seniors in the Medicare Advantage program would decline by 1%, while enrollment in the program is likely to increase by 5% in 2011. While the administration argues that some of these savings can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act going into effect, insurers say they will be forced to raise premiums anywhere from 10% to 25% next year, partly due to the new laws. Consulting firm AON projects health care costs will rise between 10.6% and 11% next year, a decline from the 13% to 16% annual increases during the middle of the last decade.

The Obama administration denies that the new laws will raise the cost of health care, and for proof points to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which announced on Monday that it will be refunding $155.8 million to 215,000 customers partly due the effects of the health reform law. The administration sees this as evidence that costs can go down with the help of the health reform legislation.

Determining how much consumers will save thanks to the new law won't be simple. Most people won't see a change in their health care costs until Jan. 1, 2011, because that's when most health care plan changes normally go into effect. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said some insurance companies have already begun announcing rate hikes for 2011, claiming the increased costs are tied to the new health care law. Sebelius warned that the agency won't tolerate unjustified rate hikes, and will be on the lookout for waste and fraud in an effort to keep health care affordable.

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septsong

Being a promiscuous lesbian, I'm excited for health care reform.

September 23 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
cvdunbar

TIME TO GO, ITS EATS TIME. I HAVE MORE THAN ONE POT TO STERRRRRRR UP.

September 23 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cvdunbar

yep,those on welfre many are young teen girls who live with there boy freinds. They have kids together and never get married, this way they can claim single parent but still live together with two incomes but the wolf welfare system never checks on them. So they get. day car child care cost. Some places charge $900 a month but the cheater couple gets $750 max per child for the month from the goverment. So for 2 kids they pay out of pocket 3 $300 a month while I pay the $900 for 1 kid, and I can only afford one kid because im not in that culture who can get any programs. Then they get section eight, I pay $1700 a month for one bedroom, the cheaters pay $250-350 a month for a two bedroom in the same complex i live in. Nice. It gets better. Of course they (she) gets food stamps and whick, whick is added to the food stamps, its food for the kids, nice. All thie time there two incomes but they claim theres only one becuse remember shes a single parent and the kids have no married father.So who checks on them? nota. This is going on in NJ and the reason I have theses numbers is becuse I found someone from the inside who showed me the papers, i was shocked not because of what i seen but the thought all theses years it was all in my so called racist head. See I was called a racist at one time because I didnt like the welfare system, I never said anything about who was getting it or what there color or culture was, but yep, I was called a racist. Being called a racist when calling out a problem tells me those who are cheating the system dont want to be found out. Word quoted by grandfather. I dont care what color you are, if your cheating the programs your cheating and stealing from my table and kids. Im pusing hard to gather up more information on how the cheaters are working in NJ, I have found and seen a ton of good stuff, Im planning on getting my ducks in a row and letting it all out. You all will die when you see how they work the system then put there own in chargew of keeping an eye on it. LOL. its so funny but true.Oh!!! by the way, the cheaters in my complex also drive 2!!!!!! Caddy SUV"S with all the trimmings, they are about no more than 20 years old, they both have very good jobs. Cant wait to let the cat out of the bag.

September 23 2010 at 5:34 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to cvdunbar's comment
Wes

Everyone have a wonderful night.. Roll up your windows as you drive past OBAMALAND in your town and kiss your wives.. Later

September 23 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wes's comment
Wes

For the next 2 years sales of 1st. Alert are going to skyrocket as this country has fallen and can't get up. And when it tries OBAMA slaps it in the face with Michelles $60.00 a plate kunch dish.

September 23 2010 at 5:21 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
cvdunbar

Blue Cross is givivng back the money because they over charged.

September 23 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Wes

Great Day..... When Air Force One files a flight plan to KENYA

September 23 2010 at 5:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
blano54

Too many uninsured People were putting our Nations Hospitals and Medical Clinics slowly out of business. Cline, you should know that, you're in the Medical Supply business aren't you??. Most of your accounts receivables are provided by Medicare aren't they Cline. Later.

September 23 2010 at 5:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to blano54's comment
Wes

Well Blan.. maybe OBAMA should get them off the welfare programs that they have been on since the end of the Civil War.

September 23 2010 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Wes

How come when I ask these wise azz people where I get OBAMACARE they don't answer??

September 23 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Wes's comment
Wes

ok ty

September 23 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Wes

I have a very real question. Not that it would ever happen. Lets say Bush came to my house, my dog had never ever seen the guy but really would think nothing of him. Next Obama stops by. The damn dog would try and tear his legs off.. WHY? Na dbefore some azz makes a remark about him being trained.. NOPE. It's the case with most dogs, and I just wonder why?

September 23 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Wes's comment
Wes

hey thumbs down.. that's not an answer.. tell me??

September 23 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply