Health Care Reform Has Created Attractive New Benefits For Health Insurance Shoppers, According To United Security Life & Health

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Health Care Reform has dominated headlines for months, sparking political and even constitutional debates. However, there are some valuable consumer benefits built into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, some of which are already in place today. United Security Life & Health, a specialist in the individual health insurance market, helps to identify some of those benefits for individuals and families that find themselves searching for new health insurance options in today's market.

United Security Life and Health Insurance Company

"This (wellness) benefit will make a substantial difference to the consumer. It affords them the opportunity to get life-saving health screenings at no cost,", Robert Dial, Vice President, United Security Life & Health

Health Care Reform - it was “the talk” amongst politicians and lawmakers, which yielded many heated debates and town-hall forums as its many layers were developed. Now that Health Care Reform, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has become a law, are you - the consumer - taking full advantage of all its benefits? What are the key changes that impact most consumers?

“One benefit of Health Care Reform that affects all Americans is the provision which mandates all insurance companies cover preventive wellness services without any cost-sharing by the insured. That means the consumer is not subject to copayment, coinsurance or deductibles when undergoing one of these approved services,” explained Robert Dial, Vice President & Secretary Chief Compliance Officer, for United Security Life & Health Insurance Company. “This benefit will make a substantial difference to the consumer. It affords them the opportunity to get life-saving health screenings at no cost.”

Dial continued with his breakdown and explanation of preventive services that are now covered:

·         Routine immunization for children, adolescents, and adults as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include routine childhood immunizations and periodic tetanus shots for adults.

·         Evidence-informed preventive care and screenings for infants, children, and adolescents as recommended by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). These include regular pediatrician visits, vision and hearing screenings, developmental assessments, immunizations and screenings, and counseling to address obesity and help children maintain a healthy weight.

·         Evidence-informed preventive care and screenings for women as recommended by the HRSA with new guidelines expected to be issued by August 1, 2011.

·         Evidence-based preventive services rated “A” or “B” in the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF). Examples include breast and colon cancer screenings, screenings for vitamin deficiencies during pregnancy, and screenings for diabetes. For a complete list of current screenings that are covered, you can visit the USPSTF web site: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsabrecs.htm.

Another provision introduced by Health Care Reform will help extend benefits to a larger percentage of young Americans. The provision mandates that dependent coverage be extended up to age 26, regardless of student status. Prior to the introduction of Health Care Reform on March 23, 2010, dependents were only covered if they were full-time students up to age 25. Proof of student status was required by insurance providers. Dial elaborated, “The new reform impacts a growing number of American families whose dependents fall into this scenario. For example, a dependent would now be covered if he or she has graduated college, but still has not secured employment and is under 26 years of age. By extending the eligibility age to 26, dependents on a family plan have the security of knowing they have complete health care insurance coverage.”

In the coming years, many more changes will be introduced. The government has developed a market provision timeline which outlines when additional phases of the plan will go into effect. As noted in the timeline, the next two major milestones will be January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014, when insurance companies will be prohibited from excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“Fortunately, there are many positive changes to Health Care Reform that affect consumers. But Health Care Reform is still evolving. New guidelines will continue to be introduced and amended. That’s why it’s critical for consumers to review their policy with their agent on an annual basis, and make sure they are taking full advantage of the benefits they are entitled to,” Dial said.

To learn more about the products United Security Life & Health offers, and to locate an agent near you, please visit http://www.unitedsecuritylandh.com.

Headquartered in Bedford Park, Illinois, United Security Life and Health Insurance Company is a regional insurance carrier that offers cancer, disability income, and health and life insurance products to individuals and families in six states. United Security Life and Health Insurance Company has been a mainstay in the insurance industry since 1973, and is currently licensed to sell its products in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska.

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Joe Amodeo

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