Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Protection for children skipped in health care law

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza at 7:01 PM
Protection for children skipped in health care law

On Tuesday, Obama signed the health care overhaul to turn it into law. However, officials said that the president administration may have to fix a potential problem in the law which was a gap in the law’s protection for children.


According to spokeswoman Karen Lightfoot for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the new law enables insurance companies to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem.
Nevertheless, if a child is covered, or has been covered already, the insurer cannot reject payment for treating a particular illness, as sometimes happens now.


According to Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, children will not be fully protected until 2014 since at that time, insurance companies will not refuse coverage to any person due to health problems any more.


In a statement at George Mason University in Virginia, president Obama said that from 2010, , thousands of uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions will have chance to acquire health insurance and that insurance firms will never be allowed to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

Before that, when House Democrats came to vote on the health care bill on last Saturday, Obama said that parents would no long have to be worried about getting coverage for their children as insurance companies will have to give coverage to their kids.


New regulations will be issued to resolve the problem, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


Parents who purchase their own coverage for the family are those affected by the coverage problem. Especially, families covered through employer plans will no longer be worried about being denied coverage on account of pre-existing conditions.


The language in the law, according to an insurance industry group, is not easy to parse.


According to Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, the agency is now keeping a closer eye on the issue to see what exactly the requirement will be.


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