Are there rules that protect consumers?
The ACA set new federal standards to protect consumers. While many of the ACA's insurance reforms begin January 1, 2014, a number of important provisions that improve the availability and quality of health insurance went into effect on September 23, 2010.
Who will benefit from the new consumer protections?
The ACA's new standards for health insurance generally apply to new health plans (offered after March 2010) in the individual and group insurance markets and, in some cases, self-insured group health benefit plans. The law ensures that people can keep their insurance if they like it by grandfathering certain health plans that existed as of the date the law passed, March 23, 2010. These grandfathered plans, sold to individuals or groups, are exempt from many - but not all - of the new insurance reforms. Individuals who are in those plans can renew them indefinitely, and can add dependents without the plan losing grandfathered status. Similarly, employers can add new employees to a grandfathered plan indefinitely and change insurance companies without the health plan losing grandfather status. For more about grandfathered plans, click here.
What are key patient protections in the ACA?
- Restricted annual and lifetime limits
- Preventive coverage
- Extension of dependent coverage
- Internal and external appeals
- Access to choice of providers
- Access to emergency room care