Some of the central provisions of the health care reform bill passed 6 months ago go into effect today, and despite the partisan rancor that’s surrounded the law, they’re sure to help hundreds of thousands of Americans. As of today, the New York Times explains, insurers will no longer be able to exclude children because of pre-existing conditions, set lifetime limits on benefits, or drop sick customers due to technical mistakes on their applications.
The law also requires insurers to offer coverage to children up to age 26 on their parents’ policies, and establishes a menu of preventative procedures, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations, that must be covered without co-pays. Finally, it allows customers to keep their doctors even if they switch insurance plans. “The amount of vulnerability that was out there was horrendous,” President Obama said yesterday, campaigning in Virginia. “We’ve just got to give people some basic peace of mind.”