The health care law includes strong consumer protections against a number of discriminatory insurance practices.
The new law:
• Prohibits insurance companies from dropping coverage: Insurers can no longer cancel your health coverage if you become sick. (Effective September 2010)
• Bans lifetime caps: Insurers can no longer limit how much they will pay out in medical benefits over your lifetime. (Effective September 2010)
• Ends annual limits on coverage: Insurers can no longer place arbitrary caps on how much they will pay for your medical benefits during a calendar year. (Effective 2014)
• Adds free preventive care coverage: New private health insurance plans must cover more preventive care services, such as mammograms and other screenings, free of charge. (Effective September 2010)
• Extends coverage for young adults: Children can remain on a parent's health insurance policy until age 26. (Effective September 2010)
• Eliminates coverage denials due to pre-existing conditions: As of September 2010, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. In 2014, this protection will be extended to everyone.