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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Health Care Reform Implementation Timeline

It's been awhile since my last post.   A family health crisis put me in the ICU waiting room for the last couple of weeks.  During that time I had a first hand look at how health care reform legislation may make a huge difference in my (and your) financial future.

An easy-to-read timeline for the health care insurance reform changes is available on the Senate website or by clicking on this link.

One of the topics you'll find covered in the time line is the section that extends coverage for young adults.  "Extending Coverage for Young Adults. Requires any group health plan or plan in the individual market that provides dependent coverage for children to continue to make that coverage available
until the child turns 26 years of age. Effective six months after enactment."

My daughter graduated from college this May and has a job managing a restaurant -- but no health insurance. Luckily, I have a job that does provide coverage, and has already begun offering coverage to employees whose children are twenty-six-years old or younger.   What a benefit!  I was considering moving jobs, but now I'm not so sure.  This strategy of early adoption has given me a new appreciation for my job and my current organization.

At the same time that my daughter is now covered, I have friends and colleagues who are not, and their financial futures are at great risk.    These are working people....but they have jobs that offer work for 38 hours per week or less so that the employer doesn't have to provide benefits.  The majority of the uninsured are working people.  They are forced into using .  And they are hoping to hold out until they can find a job with benefits, or in some cases, until they can age into Medicare.   Some other friends are "under insured," thinking they have benefits, but the lifetime insurance caps leave them vulnerable.

This isn't a blog for politically posturing, but for common sense advice born of real-life experience.   A friend asked me recently if I agreed with the health insurance reform plank that "forces" everyone to buy health insurance.  Being known as a rebel in so many areas of my life, I'm sure my answered surprised him.  I'm absolutely delighted to be able to access insurance, and gleefully pay for it every month.  Thank you to my company for providing it.   My advice to you if you can buy insurance?  Grab it.