Obama Administration Moving Forward With Health Care Law

From 2014, insurance companies prohibited from discrimination based on pre-existing conditions

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Three rules have been proposed by the Obama administration to further facilitate implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a Nov. 20 press release from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

As a move toward implementation of the new health care law, members of the Obama administration have put forth new proposals relating to issues covered by the new law.

The administration is proposing the following three rules: Starting in 2014, health insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of a pre-existing or chronic condition. Health insurance premiums can be varied within limits, based only on age, tobacco use, family size, and geography, and not related to current or past health issues, gender, occupation, and small employer size or industry. The second rule outlines policies and standards for coverage of essential health benefits, which are a core set of benefits that allow consumers to compare health plans. The third rule proposes implementation and expansion of employment-based wellness programs to promote health and assist in controlling health care spending.

"The Affordable Care Act is building a health insurance market that works for consumers," Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, said in a statement. "Thanks to the health care law, no one will be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition."

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