Parts of the federal health care reform law that was passed by Congress six months ago took effect last week, bringing a number of changes to existing health insurance plans. Virginia Wolking, at the Center for Rural Affairs, says the bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a start in extending benefits to more people, especially in states like Nebraska.
“These are the first provisions that have really kicked in since reform passed on March 23rd,” Wolking says. “I hope people will be able to see a change and have an easier time getting the health care that they need.”
The provisions effective now include extending coverage to children to age 26, ending lifetime health insurance caps, not dropping coverage when people get sick, banning coverage denials due to pre-existing conditions and providing some free preventive care.
Wolking believes much of the opposition to health care reform — in Nebraska and across the country — will fade as people realize the improved benefits.
“I think there’s been an incredible amount of confusion and misinformation about what health care reform actually means for people,” Wolking says. “When people start seeing these positive changes happening and noticing how they’re effecting the health care that they get, I think people will become more supportive.”
Many more major provisions of health care reform, including insurance exchanges, will become effective by 2014. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton