Sep 27, 2010
The news media announced with great fanfare some provisions of the Democrats’ health care plan going into effect on September 23.
Children under 19 can no longer be denied health coverage due to pre-existing conditions. But nothing in the law prevents insurance companies from raising rates, making coverage unaffordable.
Parents can add dependents under age 26 to their own plans. But nothing prevents the companies from raising rates, again making coverage unaffordable for most people.
Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits on what they will pay. They can, however, impose annual limits of $750,000, not an unusual amount for anyone with a serious illness like cancer.
Insurers can’t cancel a policy without proving fraud. But nothing stops them from accusing someone of fraud for leaving something off their application form.
Everyone can appeal a decision to deny a claim to the company, and, if still denied, ask for an independent review. Nothing prevents the insurers from denying a claim in order to drag a case out, nor from pressuring doctors to prevent timely treatments.
Insurance companies have pulled every trick in the book to avoid paying medical bills up until now. The new plan leaves them all the loopholes they need to do more of the same.