Remember, this is not a government takeover of the insurance industry. The government will only tell insurance companies the following:
- Who their customers must be
- What services they must provide
- What prices they can charge for their services
- What percentage of their profits they can spend on executive salaries, client services, administrative functions, etc.
This in no way is government-run health care (wink).
From The Hill:
The Obama administration issued new rules Tuesday that require insurance companies to cover people with preexisting medical conditions — one of the most popular provisions of President Obama’s healthcare law.
The Health and Human Services Department also began to implement other popular, but expensive, parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Regulations released Tuesday will prohibit insurers from charging women a higher premium than men, and will require plans in every state to cover certain services.
The regulations still leave key questions unanswered, including the structure of a federally run insurance exchange in the roughly 30 states that won’t set up their own. HHS officials said more information on the federal exchange will be coming soon.
“I’m confident states will have what they need to move forward,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters Tuesday.
The new regulations also put a finer point on some of the most politically popular elements of Obama’s signature healthcare law. The proposed rules implement the health law’s ban on denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions and also require insurers to renew those customers’ coverage.
HHS also began putting in place new limits on how much insurers can vary their premiums — for example, allowing them to charge older patients only three times more than younger customers. The law prohibits insurers from varying premiums at all based on some factors, including gender.
The regulations also bar insurers from charging sick customers a higher premium. Everyone who buys insurance through a newly created exchange, rather than getting it through an employer, will be combined into one large risk pool, meaning insurance companies can spread out their risks more broadly.