Health Insurance Reforms

Should there be a new federal law and regulations to broaden coverage and make the market work better for individuals and small businesses?

While we know that health reform will affect the way insurers interact with current and potential customers, specific details change daily. 

Current reform proposals being considered by Congress would create national guidelines, require insurers to provide coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, and would not allow insurers to rescind their coverage once it is in effect.

Reform proposals also would keep insurance companies from charging more based on geography, and would limit the difference in price that insurers are allowed to charge based on age, family size and the kind of insurance product purchased. Supporters of these reform proposals say that they will make insurance more affordable, especially for the chronically ill, those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. Opponents of reform think that while these ideas could work in principle, current proposals won’t effectively reach their intended goals. Opponents also assert that the current proposals would increase insurance premiums for young people to a level so high that they avoid purchasing it, which would result in higher premiums for all others.

This Health Policy Brief  takes a close look at potential health insurance reforms, explaining what different proposed reforms couldmean for individuals and the country as a whole, and was published online on October 21, 2009 in Health Affairs.