New health plans must include essential health benefits

Essential health benefitsToday, most health plans have limits on how much coverage you get. In 2014, that will no longer be the case for essential health benefits. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires your plan to cover your costs for essential health benefits so that you’ll have the coverage you need. This applies to individual insurance and group insurance that you get either on your own or through your employer.

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Have a pre-existing condition? In 2014, you can’t be denied.

Have you ever been denied insurance coverage because of a health condition? You may have felt confused, frustrated, or even angry. You’ll be glad to know that, starting Jan. 1, 2014, your application for new health insurance will never be denied again. Guaranteed issue means that (beginning Jan. 1, 2014) anyone can purchase a health plan regardless of health status or other factors.

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How do you feel about the individual mandate?

Many aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are popular. Some people like the basic fairness of women paying the same premiums as men and sick people not being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. But the individual responsibility clause, also called the individual mandate, is often misunderstood. It’s important to know that without it, the chances of the ACA working as it was intended are slim.

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