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What Health Reform Means to Coloradans

March 31st, 2010 – There has been a great deal of confusion about how the new Health Reform Law impacts people in Colorado.   This article explains in plain English how the new law will effect you and when.

The new health reform law signed into law by President Obama makes a number of changes, the most far reaching of which will not take effect until 2014.  For most Colorado employers, employees and individuals with health insurance you will see little, if any immediate changes with your existing policies.

However, there will be changes for individual insurance plans along with new and renewing business health insurance policies after September 23rd of 2010, which may include:

  1. New policies will be required to provide first dollar coverage on specified preventative care.
  2. Lifetime limits on health insurance policies will be eliminated.
  3. Insurance companies can’t cancel a policy because someone gets sick.
  4. Parents can add or keep dependents on their policies up to age 26, regardless of if they are a student or not.

How might these changes affect new policies?  The additional benefits may cause increases on new individual policies, new group policies and group plan renewals after September 23rd, 2010.

What about pre-existing conditions?   This is the most common question.  Guarantee issue health insurance coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions, begins in 2014.   That is disappointing to many people as 2014 is a long ways off.

In the interim, brokers like Colorado Health Insurance Brokers will be happy to help you find suitable health insurance based upon your pre-existing conditions, as there are options for most situations.

Should I wait until 2014 to get coverage?   That would be unwise as one unexpected illness or injury can bankrupt you in an instant.   In fact, medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies, so it pays to have health insurance.

While the uninsured can go to the Emergency Room, they are still be left with a very high bill.   Health care is more expensive for the uninsured, with studies showing that even small claim costs can easily be double that of someone with an inexpensive high deductible health insurance plan.  For larger claims, insurance provides the only real protection.  Also, people with insurance tend to get much better quality and quantity of health care.

If cost is the only thing standing between you and getting health insurance coverage get a quote on an inexpensive high deductible health insurance plan.  There is no benefit to waiting and the downside risk is huge.

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