July 22nd, 2010 – If you have an individual health insurance plan that went into effect before March 23rd, 2010 you may enjoy some money saving advantages, as compared to newer plans. Plans sold after March 23rd, 2010 are subject to additional premium increases from new mandated benefits required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama last March 23rd.
So, that means that older plans may actually become more affordable, relative to new plans, as time goes on. One of the first big mandates will take effect on September 23rd, where all children will become guarantee issue regardless of pre-existing conditions, new preventative care mandates will take hold and lifetime maximum caps will be eliminated. On January 1st, 2011 maternity coverage will be mandated here in Colorado. Of course, the biggest change will take effect on January 1st, 2014 when all health insurance becomes guarantee issue. As these mandates come into force you can expect to see non-grandfathered health insurance premiums go up significantly.
Be aware that changes you may make to your existing grandfathered health insurance plan, such as increasing the deductible or coinsurance or lapsing and reinstating a policy, may remove your grandfathered status. Check with your Agent or carrier and ask them how changes might effect your grandfathered status or you may actually end up costing yourself more money in the long run.
Update: Follow this link to read about a new 6 minute consumer friendly video to learn more about Grandfathered plans.