Will the president's plan make it against the law for insurance companies to deny coverage for health reasons or risks?
Yes, Obama's healthcare reform bill will prohibit insurance companies from refusing to cover someone just because he has a pre-existing condition or gets sick during the policy year.
This has been a common practice in the health insurance industry, especially for those who are buying insurance through the individual market. Insurance companies routinely make medical screenings and tests or look into an applicant's medical history and refuse coverage to those whom they deem as having a high risk of making a claim. In this case, having an operation such as a caesarean section in the past may warrant a denial of coverage.
This is one of the abuses that the healthcare reform bill plans to put a stop to. However, this will not be applicable anytime soon. You will have to wait since this provision will be applicable in the year 2014.
In the meantime, the bill will put up high-risk pools to address the needs of those who can't buy insurance anywhere else. The pool will enable people who are denied coverage the ability to buy health insurance at a more affordable price. This includes not just you as the primary insured, but also your children who enjoy coverage under your health insurance policy.
The rationale behind this provision in the bill is that the government wants to have as many people as possible that have health insurance coverage. With more people having health insurance, the cost of providing healthcare is projected to actually go down. You see, those who do have coverage usually end up paying for those who can't pay their hospital bills because of lack of insurance. By making sure that as many people are covered, the government foresees more savings for all the people who are using the healthcare system.
This is just one of the consumer protections that the new bill has put up to put a stop to previous abusive and discriminatory practices of insurance companies. The bill bans insurance companies from using one's health status as part of their underwriting process when pricing their health insurance plans. The insurance company cannot also just drop you while the policy is effective just because your health condition changed for the worse. With the new bill, the health insurance cannot cancel your policy due to an increased risk in your health.
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