First Shoe Has Dropped: The Pre-Existing Condition Coverage for Children
So, remember all that stuff about "No insurance company will be able to turn a child down for coverage?"
Seems there’s more to it. Just reported a couple of hours ago by AP:
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR (AP)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s new health care law has a gap when it comes to one of its much-touted immediate benefits, improved coverage for children in poor health, congressional officials confirmed Tuesday.
Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill that Obama signed into law Tuesday.
However, if a child is accepted for coverage, or is already covered, the insurer cannot not exclude payment for treating a particular illness, as sometimes happens now. For example, if a child has asthma, the insurance company cannot write a policy that excludes that condition from coverage. The new safeguard will be in place later this year.
Translate: If there’s a family with a sick child that currently is without insurance, they can legally be turned down for coverage. The fine print: That pre-existing condition clause that kicks in at the six month mark only includes:
1. Those families that already have insurance and end up with a child who unexpectedly/suddenly is diagnosed with a serious illness; and
2. uhh, guess that’s it. Oh, wait, the writers of this forward-looking law assumed that, gosh golly gee whiz, if an uninsured family with a sick kid applies to get coverage and the insurance company accepts (whhhaaaatt?), the company can’t write in an exclusion that exempts coverage of that illness at the time of purchase. I know, I know…I can foresee this happening zillions of times.
Seriously: Even as I knew how awful this law is, I’m shocked. Deception and a sales job of the highest order.
One can only guess when people find out about this first iteration of "the fine print"..what’ll start to come undone.
But, hey, on the bright side: If they can hang on ’til 2014…