One of the main goals of the health reform movement is that more American families will find affordable health insurance plans. Many of the changes being required of health insurance providers are designed to force them to offer more affordable health insurance policies to more Americans. In addition, there are also laws and regulations in place to force Americans to purchase affordable health insurance plans. In the future, American citizens who do not purchase affordable health insurance plans will have to pay big tax penalties or fines.
Another change is the establishment of high risk pools for each state. The purpose of these high risk pools is that individuals who have not been able to get approved for affordable health insurance individual policies in the past, due to a pre-existing medical condition, will have an affordable health insurance option. At this time, a few states have high risk pools, but many did not, as of earlier this year. This means that those individuals who were not enrolled in a group health plan may not have been able to find affordable health insurance plans because their monthly premiums may have been increased due to a pre-existing medical problem, or they would get denials back from their applications. High risk pools make it possible for these individuals to enroll in affordable health insurance plans. The premiums may still be higher, but the goal is to make affordable health insurance policies available to high risk citizens.
Many of the changes in the health reform acts laws to monitor and regulate the health insurance industry. This includes making health insurance providers submit rate increases to the government for approval. Again, this is to encourage insurance carriers to offer more affordable health insurance options to American citizens. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to create new rate review processes, and start approving or disapproving new rate filings by insurance companies.
Other changes proposed are the prohibition of lifetime benefit limits, restricted annual limits for essential benefits, and coverage of dependents up until age 26. All of these changes will result in less out of pocket expenses for members, therefore health insurance making affordable health insurance. The federal government really wants the public to see the benefit of health insurance, and find affordable health insurance policies in order to protect themselves and their families.
The HHS is also setting up a national insurance exchange, which is basically a web portal which will carry information from several different insurance providers and provide information about the many different types of affordable health insurance plans available to American citizens. It is possible that these insurance exchanges will also have information about a government-sponsored affordable health insurance, as competition to private open market affordable health insurance plans, such as those available to Americans today. The national insurance exchange is still a work in progress, so there is a lot to be seen about how it is to work.