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New Health Reform Provisions to Help Kids Start Today!

by Caroline DeRosa, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, Children's Health Fund

Thumbs Up for New Health Provision to Help KidsToday, on the six month anniversary of the passage of health reform, several new health care provisions that greatly benefit children will begin to apply:

  • Eligible young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plan;
  • Insurers cannot impose lifetime limits on coverage of “essential health benefits”;
  • Insurers may no longer charge co-payments, deductibles or co-insurance for preventive services; and,
  • Children younger than 19 can't be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Many children, especially those who are poor and underserved, often do not get the medical care they need. These children and their families face numerous barriers in accessing critically needed services—not having insurance coverage; being denied coverage because of a previous illness; or not having the money to pay co-pays and/or deductibles. This first wave of implementation of the health reform law will begin to chip away at these barriers and greatly benefit children who currently face overwhelming obstacles in getting comprehensive quality care.

As we posted yesterday, the US Census Bureau released new statistics showing that in 2009 there was an increase in the number or people living in poverty and in the number of people that are uninsured. Now, more than ever, it's essential to ensure that the critical pieces of health reform aimed to help underserved children get access to health care are protected and not repealed.