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If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It
Thanks for your petition on the Affordable Care Act. We've got some good news for you. If you currently have private health insurance, you should be able to keep it, and that's exactly what the health care law says. It's not a question of opting out of health reform -- the idea that individuals who like their insurance should keep it is a central part of the law.
And as you say, President Obama has been pretty clear on that point.
But there are clearly still some misconceptions out there, and we appreciate the chance to clear some of them up. Here's how the health care law benefits individuals who already have health insurance -- which is about 85 percent of the country:
- Preventive Benefits: All new health plans must now cover recommended preventive services without a copay or deductible, including mammograms and vaccinations for kids at no additional cost.
- Coverage for Young Adults: Under the health care law, young adults can stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26 -- a change that has already allowed 3.1 million young adults to gain health coverage and given their families peace of mind.
- Ending Insurance Company Abuses: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer put a lifetime cap on how much care they will pay for if you get sick, or cancel your coverage when you make a mistake on your paperwork.
- Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition like asthma or diabetes. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from discriminating against anyone due to pre-existing conditions.
So you'll be able to keep the plan you like, but we'll also make sure insurance companies are playing by the rules and that -- if you want them -- there are other insurance options available to you starting in 2014.
And to be clear -- there is no provision for groups to "opt out" of the health care law. The examples you cite are actually temporary, transitional policies provided to employers of all kinds. They provide extra time for companies to comply with the law, but those waivers aren't unlimited -- all employers will need to comply with the Affordable Care Act by 2014.