Today was an important day for Obamacare since important rules governing the new Health Care Exchanges were issued by Health and Human Services with big fanfare today.

Remember these are only proposed rules and are open for comment and then they will be finalized early in 2013.

“The Affordable Care Act is building a health insurance market that works for consumers,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the health care law, no one will be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.”
Obama administration moves forward to implement health care law, ban discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions

The Obama administration moved forward today to implement provisions in the health care law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. The provisions of the Affordable Care Act also would make it easier for consumers to compare health plans, and employers to promote and encourage employee wellness.

Some of the key points that will be a godsend to many people with pre-existing conditions:

Guaranteed Availability of Coverage

To address these problems, starting in 2014, provisions of the proposed rule include:

Health insurance issuers generally would be prohibited from denying coverage to people because of a pre-existing condition or any other factor.  Individuals generally would need to buy coverage during open enrollment periods.  In addition, individuals would have new special enrollment opportunities in the individual market when they experience certain losses of other coverage.

There are many other good provisions such as provisions for enrollment in catastrophic plans, guaranteed renewability of coverage,  a single statewide risk pool for each of their individual and small employer markets and fair health insurance premiums.

Below is a link to the actual PDF file if you wish to read the complete set of rules:

While many on DailyKos would have wished for Single Payer and Medicare for All, hopefully Obamacare is something we can start with.

I remember shopping with a friend for a health insurance policy since they worked for an exclusive private high school that did not provide health insurance for their full-time teachers. The prices were crazy high for an individual and I hope the Obamacare Health Exchanges will go a long way to bringing prices more in line with what middle class families and individuals can pay.

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