After Six Months, Health Care Law Phases In - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

After Six Months, Health Care Law Phases In

USATODAY.COM - Several key consumer protections under the nation's new health law begin taking effect Thursday — six months after its enactment.

Insurers can no longer set a dollar limit on the amount of care they'll provide over a person's lifetime or deny coverage to sick children. Young adults can stay on their parents' health plans until age 26. And consumers get greater rights to appeal insurers' decisions.

"It's really putting in place long overdue consumer protections," Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview with USA TODAY. "It's getting rid of some of the worst rules of the industry that prevented people from getting covered at all or, at a time they needed coverage the most, limited the coverage they had."

Many people, however, will have to wait until Jan. 1 for the changes to help them. That's because most of the new provisions apply to insurance policies that begin on or after Thursday. Many plans operate on a calendar year, and this fall will begin enrollment for next year.

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