Healthcare Law Timeline


Healthcare Law Timeline

Effective 2010Pre-existing Condition: Children with insurance can no longer be denied coverage based on pre-existing coverage.

Temporary High Risk Pool: Georgians (adults) with pre-existing conditions can now get coverage through what is being called PCIP or Pre-Exisiting Condition Insurance Plan.

Life time Caps: Insurance plans can no longer impose life time dollar limits on essential benefits such as hospital stays.
Insurance companies cannot stop coverage when a person gets sick
Expanded coverage for young adults: If your plan has dependent coverage, your child can remain on your plan until they turn 26, irrespective of whether they have graduated college or are married.
Consumer Assistance Program: Georgians can now get help to navigate the private health insurance system through a consumer assistance program that has been set up at the Insurance Commissioners Office.
Preventive Care: All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance

Effective Oct 1, 2011
Access to services at home and in the community: All the current Home and Community Based Services (in Georgia it would be Independent Waiver, NOW/COMP waiver, etc) will be funded, potentially removing all waitlists. But this is an optional law that states can adopt. Right now there is no move to adopt this law in Georgia.

Effective Jan 1, 2014
Insurance Coverage: Most individuals who can afford to buy basic health insurance will be required to obtain coverage or pay a fee to help off set the costs of caring for uninsured Americans. If, affordable coverage is not available to an individual he or she will be eligible for an exemption.
Medicaid Expansion: The financial and categorical eligibility requirements of Medicaid will be expanded. Allowing a lot more Georgians to receive Medicaid Coverage.
Insurance Exchange: If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, you will be able to buy it directly from an Exchange.

Annual Limits: All new plans and existing group plans will not be able to impose an annual dollar limit on the amount of coverage a person may receive per year.
Pre-Existing Coverage: Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to anyone (adults and children) based on their pre-existing coverage.

Glossary of Key Health Reform Terms

Annual Benefit Limit: Insurers place a ceiling on the amount of claims they will pay in a given year for an individual.   Individuals would then have to pay the full cost for any claims incurred above this ceiling during the course of year. Beginning in 2010, annual benefit limits will be restricted and will be prohibited in 2014 under health reform.

Case Management: The process of coordinating medical care provided to patients with specific diagnoses or those with high health care needs. These functions are performed by case managers who can be physicians, nurses or social workers

Chronic Care Management: The coordination of both health care and supportive services to improve the health status of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. These programs focus on evidence-based interventions and rely on patient education to improve patients’ self-management skills. The goals of these programs are to improve the quality of health care provided to these patients and to reduce costs.

Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program: The CLASS program establishes a national voluntary insurance program for purchasing non-medical services and supports necessary for individuals with functional limitations to maintain community residence. Enrollment will begin Jan 1, 2011 and will target working adults who will be able to make voluntary premium contributions either through payroll deductions through their employer or directly.

Employer Health Care Tax Credit: An incentive mechanism designed to encourage employers to offer health insurance to their employees. The tax credit enables employers to deduct an amount, usually a percentage of the contribution they make toward their employees premiums, from the federal taxes they owe.

Grandfathered Plan: A health plan that was in place on March 23, 2010 when the health reform law was enacted is exempt from complying with some parts of the health reform law.

Health Care Cooperative (CO-OP): A non profit member-run health insurance organization, governed by a board of directors elected by its members. Co-ops provide insurance coverage to individuals and small business and can operate at state, regional and national levels.

Health Insurance Exchange/Connector: An arrangement through which insurers offer smaller employers and individuals health insurance plans for purchase. Individuals and small employers will be able to select their coverage within this organized arrangement.

Health insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): Through the HIPPAA, individuals can maintain coverage while changing jobs or for a temporary period of unemployment without a waiting period. Individuals in many states who lose group health coverage after a loss of employment have access to coverage through high risk pools with no-preexisting condition exclusion periods. HIPAA also sets standards that address these security and privacy of personal health data

High Risk Pool: State programs designed to provide health insurance to residents who are considered medically uninsurable and are unable to buy coverage in individual markets. The health reform law creates temporary high risk pools in each state (referred to the as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan) to provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions who are uninsured. These temporary pools will provide coverage until 2014.

Lifetime Benefit Maximum: A cap on the amount of money insurers will pay toward the cost of health care services over the lifetime of insurance policy. Lifetime benefit maximums are prohibited under health reform.

Pre-existing Condition Exclusions: It is an exclusion from coverage of an illness or medical condition for which a person had received a diagnosis or treatment within a specified period of time, prior to becoming insured. Health care providers can exclude benefits for a defined period of time for the treatment of medical conditions that they determine to have existed within a specific period prior to the beginning of coverage. Pre-existing condition exclusions are prohibited by the health reform law beginning 2010 for children and 2014 for adults.

Credits: This list was compiled from Kaiser Family Foundation


National Government Website

Family Voices

Kaiser Family Foundation

Georgia Health Policy

Spinal Cord Advocates  

Families USA