What will new health insurance changes mean for your family?

By Megg Mueller on November 25th, 2010

A number of changes to the health care reform law occurred in September, and many of these changes will take effect as many group health insurance plans are renewed in the next few months.

If your group health insurance or employer-providing medical insurance benefits haven't been renewed yet, you might not be aware of some of the issues and how they can affect you, so here are a few of the major points that went into effect with new plans that started as of Sept. 23, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and HealthCare.gov:

  • Adult children, up to 26 years old, can remain (or get back on) their parents' health insurance plans. Unless your kids have insurance offered through their own job, they can now stay covered under your health care insurance. Check with your employer's insurance provider for details.
  • Preventative care is now covered. Services such as mammograms and colonoscopies now have to be covered without making patients pay anything out-of-pocket.
  • Mistakes in filling out your insurance forms can't cost you coverage. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to rescind coverage if you've made an honest mistake on your application, or left off information that isn't relevant to your health.
  • You can now fight back against rejected appeals. How your health insurance company deals with an appeal is now governed, and you can now use an independent reviewer to deal with a denied appeal.
  • Lifetime dollar limits on things like hospital stays are now prohibited.
  • Kids with pre-existing conditions now can't be denied health insurance coverage.

If you're about to renew your policy, make sure you check with your group health insurance plan administrator and read how these new provisions might be applied. Health care reform is insanely confusing, and it's easy to get caught up in the details, so be sure to do your research ahead of time.

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