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First wave of healthcare reforms launch today

Thursday, September 23, 2010
The first wave of reforms under the new health insurance law take effect today, six months after the bill was signed by President Obama. While some changes - like kids staying on their parents' plan until 26 and free wellness visits - may indeed be worthwhile and not raise your premiums much, other reforms will either raise your rates significantly or lead to insurers simply dropping coverage.

The most notable example of that so far is the new stipulation that health insurance companies cover children with pre-existing conditions. As far as I know, most major health insurance companies in Missouri have dropped "child-only" policies because of the new law. (They will still insure kids if Mom and Dad are already customers or will become customers.) Why? The insurance companies will lose money or risk bankruptcy if they "insure" kids who are already seriously ill. After all, that's not insurance any more - it's charity. So simply mandating coverage through the force of law doesn't mean the health insurance companies will comply.  As we have seen, many will just drop that type of coverage.

Many of the media stories on this subject today either downplay the dropping of child-only policies or ignore it altogether, like this New York Times article.

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