Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.


Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Health Care Reform Explained

The New Health Care Law and Pre-existing Conditions

Your questions answered

Also new for next year: The federal plans will offer lower premiums for children with pre-existing conditions, up to 18 years old. Children now pay the same rates as adults. In Florida, for example, the standard plan premium for a child will be $196 a month, a third less than the cheapest premium for adults.

Go online for a detailed comparison of the three new plan options, or to find the premium rates for this year and in 2011.

States that decided to operate their own pre-existing condition insurance plans don't have to adopt these changes, although federal officials are encouraging them to do so. And some states already offer a choice of plans. Check this website for information about plans in your state.

Those enrolled in the federally run program this year have until Nov. 30 to pick one of the three plans for 2011. If they don't decide, they will be automatically signed up for the standard option plan.

However, there is one thing about the plans that is not changing: The health care reform law states that to qualify for this pre-existing insurance plan you must have been turned down for insurance because of an existing health condition or have been approved only for a policy that doesn't cover your condition. Some readers criticize the six-month rule. But federal officials have said they are unable to waive the rule since it is part of the law Congress approved.

The law also required a website where you can find out about other insurance options available now, including other government health programs.

Susan Jaffe of Washington, D.C., covers health and aging issues.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.