- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

DHHS Secretary Sebelius Letter Updates Immediate Health Reform Benefits

Sent to Congress yesterday, the Secretary’s letter [1] contains some interesting updates as health reform starts up:

1. Although the deadline for health insurers to start covering kids up to age 26 isn’t until September 23, 2010, over 65 insurers have already pledged to cover kids before that deadline.

2. New high risk pools for people who are uninsured because of pre-existing health conditions will start on July 1, 2010, including in NC.

3. Again, although the deadline isn’t until Sept. 23rd, insurance companies have all announced they will immediately follow the law’s prohibition on “rescissions” or dropping people from coverage when they become ill.

4. Many small businesses and nonprofits are immediately eligible for tax credits if they provide health coverage and the IRS is contacting small businesses right now to inform them about the potential benefits.

5. The first $250 checks reimbursing people on Medicare for drug costs in the drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole” will be mailed June 15th.