Near-Term Changes in Health Insurance

Newly Enacted Health Reform Legislation Mandates Dozens of Health Insurance Changes. Many Go Into Effect this Year and Next.

In March 2010, Congress enacted substantial health reform measures intended to increase access to affordable insurance, reduce the number of uninsured people, and reform both the health insurance market and the health care delivery system. The lion’s share of these reforms will take effect in 2014. However, some reforms go into ef­fect well before that time.

Early insurance market reforms are associated with two goals of health care reform: (1) reduc­ing barriers to health insurance and (2) improving the availability of information in the health care marketplace.

The provisions that will go into effect in the near-term, include those that institute, provide and ensure:

  • Temporary access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions;
  • No preexisting condition restrictions for children;
  • Restrictions on certain insurance practices;
  • Reporting requirements;
  • A small-business tax credit;
  • Expanded dependent coverage;
  • Coverage and access provisions;
  • Expanding access to information on health insurance;
  • Retirees’ access to health insurance; and
  • Access to long-term care insurance.

This Health Policy Brief provides a timeline for the next two years of health reform, and was published online on April 30, 2010 in Health Affairs.