SEC. 1251. PRESERVATION OF RIGHT TO MAINTAIN EXISTING COVERAGE


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March, 2011 is the one year anniversary of the culmination of the nasty political debates that resulted in President Obama signing the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Whether is it called the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Care Act, PPACA, Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, everyone knows what law is being referred to but after a year, people are still unclear of what is in it.

Last year, after the most controversial legislation of the last 50 years became law I started explaining one section a week in the newsletter for The Insurance Barn.  In March and April my intention is to share those explanations for people who were not on the mailing list.

Each day I will share the text of a different section of the new law and my conclusion as to its meaning.  As you read them, please note that I am an insurance agent and not a lawyer.  I understand that the rules made by the Secretary of Health and Human Services may make my conclusions inaccurate.  Also, note that I understand that good people can read the same thing and come to different conclusions.

The quoted legal language is taken directly from the PPACA.  The opinion statements are my conclusions.  They may or may not be consistent with what the legal minds of the U.S. Supreme Court eventually conclude.  They are for educational purposes only so that people are able to better understand the law and plan accordingly.

SEC. 1251. PRESERVATION OF RIGHT TO MAINTAIN EXISTING COVERAGE.
(a) NO CHANGES TO EXISTING COVERAGE.—(1) IN GENERAL.—Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage under a group health plan or health insurance coverage in which such individual was enrolled on the date of enactment of this Act.

(2) CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE.—With respect to a group health plan or health insurance coverage in which an individual was enrolled on the date of enactment of this Act, this subtitle and subtitle A (and the amendments made by such subtitles) shall not apply to such plan or coverage, regardless of whether the individual renews such coverage after such date of enactment.

CONCLUSION

The key to understanding this is the phrase, “date of enactment of this Act.”  What this means to you is that any changes to your group health insurance carrier made after March 23. 2010 will be ineligible to be grandfathered.  Dependents and new employees may be added to an existing plan but no material changes to the plan itself are allowed.  Any plans with an effective date after March 23, 2010 are required to adopt the minimal benefit standards in 2014 that are determined by the Secretary of HHS.

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