Most of us are waiting on pins and needles for what the Supreme Court is going to say about the Affordable Care Act this month, but guess who is already moving forward without waiting on a decision? Yup, it’s UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, which announced yesterday that no matter what the Supreme Court decides this month, UnitedHealth is still moving ahead with many of the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.
What does that mean? Well, as a practical matter it means that UnitedHealth will continue with popular Affordable Care Act healthcare reforms like covering preventive care such as immunizations without co-pays, covering adult children on a parent’s health insurance plan up until the age of 26, and will not pursue health insurance rescission except in cases of fraud. (Rescission is the practice of cancelling health insurance coverage retroactively, usually after a health condition has been diagnosed.)
In a statement, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen J. Hemsley said that the health insurer will extend some of the overhaul’s initial provisions because they are good for people’s health, they promote better access to quality care and they help control rising health care costs.
However, despite UnitedHealth’s pledge to continue with many of the reforms, the health insurance giant will not be moving forward with coverage of children with pre-existing conditions up to the age of 19. Like many other insurers, UnitedHealth’s has expressed concern over whether it could be overwhelmed with health insurance applications for sick children if it is the only insurer who offers coverage.
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