I already have health insurance. Will I have to change my plan because of the new health-care reform law?
For the most part, no. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require you to change insurance plans, as long as your plan, whether issued privately or through your employer, meets certain minimum requirements. In fact, the ACA may add benefits to your existing plan that you have not had before.
Your present insurance plan may be considered a grandfathered plan under the ACA if your plan has been continually in existence since March 23, 2010 (the date of enactment of the ACA), and has not significantly cut or reduced benefits, raised co-insurance charges, significantly raised co-payments or deductibles, and your employer contribution toward the cost of the plan hasn’t significantly decreased. However, if a grandfathered plan significantly reduces your benefits, decreases the annual dollar limit of coverage, or increases your out-of-pocket spending above what it was on March 23, 2010, then the plan will lose its grandfathered status.
Some provisions of the ACA apply to all plans, including grandfathered plans. These provisions include:
No lifetime limits on the dollar cost of coverage provided by the plan
Coverage can’t be rescinded or cancelled due to illness or medical condition
Coverage must be extended to adult dependents up to age 26
The ACA doesn’t apply to all types of insurance. For example, the law doesn’t apply to property and casualty insurance such as automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, and umbrella liability coverage. The ACA also doesn’t affect life, accident, disability, and workers’ compensation insurance. Nor does the law apply to long-term care insurance, nursing home insurance, and home health-care plans, as long as they’re sold as stand-alone plans and are not part of a health plan. Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) is generally not covered by the ACA if it’s sold as a separate plan and not as part of a health insurance policy.