New healthcare provisions to take effect

New provisions to the Illinois health care reform will go into effect Sept. 23.

Senator Durbin, along with several other speakers, held a teleconference Wednesday to speak about the changes that will be made in regards to health care.

As of Sept. 23, the lifetime benefit cap will be banned from insurance policies and all young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.

“Insurance companies will no longer be able to place lifetime limits,” Durbin said.

The lifetime benefit cap is set on insurance policies to limit the amount one has access to in health care.

Tim Fraas, Elgin resident, talked about his experience getting a heart transplant. Fraas luckily had a $3 million lifetime cap under his wife’s insurance to cover his transplant but is already under the million dollar mark.

“If my wife loses her job, we’ll lose our house,” Fraas said.

Cristal Thomas, regional director of HHS, said the patients bill of rights will go into effect with these provisions.

“People who want to take control of their health are able to do so and won’t have to worry about the out of pocket cost or their ability to pay for those services,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the provisions are a bridge to even more provisions set to go into effect in 2014. The current provisions will immediately go into effect on new plans, but existing plans will be added on a rolling basis depending on when plan changes can be made.

“It’s really unfortunate something we take for granted in the US is our healthcare,” said Bob Robinson, executive director of Hemophilia Foundation of Illinois.

Robinson said most people won’t know of the lifetime benefit cap until tomorrow and wants people to go and read the outline of their insurance policy.

Durbin said those that “are calling for repeal of the health care reform bill” need to give the bill a chance to work.

“They are turning their back on the health we’re giving senior citizens,” Durbin said. “The bill is not perfect, but this bill should be given the opportunity to work.”