After a titanic, yearlong struggle in Congress, President Obama
recently signed historic health care legislation into law. Now you
need to fully understand the law's complex requirements and its
potential effects. Although the law's major components do not take
effect until 2014, there are provisions that could affect employer
health care plans as early as late this year.
First, any employer group health care plan that was in effect on
March 23 of this year is considered "grandfathered" under the new
law and will operate according to somewhat different rules than new
plans. However, plans can lose their grandfathered status, and the
law gives the secretary of health and human services wide latitude
to determine, through the regulatory process, what changes to a
plan will constitute loss of grandfathered status.
One of the new law's first ramifications is that all employer
group health care plans must comply with insurance reforms that
take effect in September. These reforms will be implemented by
insurance companies but may affect plan benefits and/or premiums as
early as late this...
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