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Obama Health Care Plan Reforms

Timelines and Changes


Updated June 04, 2014

High Risk Pool

Beginning in 2014, insurers will no longer be allowed to discriminate against anyone based on pre-existing conditions, including mental health disorders. Until then, those with pre-existing conditions are eligible for a new "high risk" pool. The new pool will go into effect 90 days after the bill was passed, making insurance available and affordable for those with pre-existing disorders.

Other Reforms

H.R. 3590 also includes a number of additional reforms that are designed to bring down costs and improve quality. New standards of accountability for quality of care, modernization of record-keeping technology and measures to curtail the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs are just a few of the new reforms. The goal is to minimize bureaucratic inflation and red tape, streamline procedures and hold doctors accountable for the care that they provide. Medicaid will also be expanded to include childless adults under age 65 whose income is less than 133% of the poverty line.

Timeliness of Changes

Many of the Act's provisions, including the creation of Exchanges, will not take effect until 2014. However, numerous provisions will take effect by January 1, 2011. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Prohibiting discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions
  • Ban on lifetime limits for coverage
  • Restriction on annual limits for coverage
  • Ban on dropping coverage due to change in health status
  • Free preventive care (wellness care) under Medicare

It is generally best to maintain your current insurance coverage, if you have it, during the transitional process. Take a look at Managing Managed Care for tips on getting the phobia treatments you require under the current insurance system.


Federal Employees Health Benefits Program 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2010 from http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/index.asp

H.R. 3590: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Retrieved March 24, 2010 from http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3590/text

Obama-Biden Health Care Plan. 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2010 from http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPlan.pdf

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