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New federal laws could add costs and benefits to insurance plans

Posted On Tue, June 15, 2010

While the Obama administration says that Americans can keep their current insurance plans, there are new rules that can also change those plans slightly.

In what it calls an effort to protect consumers, the administration issued new rules to help prevent insurers from drastically changing their plans in the wake of the new reforms, the Washington Post reported. The rules will "grandfather in" existing plans, which will exempt them from some of the requirements that will soon be enacted. But the administration can decide just how much a health care plan can change without forfeiting its exemption.

Existing plans can lose their exemption if they boost deductibles or out-of-pocket charges, the report said. Employers would lose their grandfathered status if they change insurance companies unless the change is covered by a union contract or pays claims out of its own pocket.

However, the Post added, that there is nothing in the new rules preventing insurance companies from raising premiums, only the percentage of the premium they pay.

A Pricewaterhouse Coopers report said that employer medical costs are expected to climb 9.5 percent next year, in part because of the new health care laws.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19839250-ADNFCR

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