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ST. LOUIS –– Several important elements of the Affordable Care Act go into effect on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Key provisions include:
End to coverage denials for children with pre-existing conditions.
Employer-sponsored plans and new individual policies can no longer refuse coverage to children under 19 because of a serious medical condition.
Extension of young adults’ coverage.
Health plans are required to allow adult children to remain on their parents’ policies up to age 26 if the adult child is not offered employer-sponsored coverage.
Restriction on yearly dollar coverage limits.
Employer plans and new individual policies can no longer impose annual coverage limits under $750,000 for “essential” health benefits including hospital care, drugs, emergency services and maternal and newborn care. The maximum limit increases each year and is eliminated in 2014.
Free preventive care.
New health insurance plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible or co-pay.