Despite Health Law, Many People May Be Left Underinsured

Insurance coverage is only one part of the health puzzle.i i

hide captionInsurance coverage is only one part of the health puzzle.


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Insurance coverage is only one part of the health puzzle.

Insurance coverage is only one part of the health puzzle.

iStockphoto

People with chronic conditions will be better protected from crippling medical bills starting in January, as the health law’s coverage requirements and spending limits take effect.

But a recent analysis by Avalere Health found that many people may still find themselves underinsured, spending more than 10 percent of their income on medical care, not including premiums, even if they qualify for cost-sharing subsidies on the health insurance marketplaces.

“You have some great protections in place, but these out-of-pocket costs and how plans are structured are going to create some serious problems,” says Marc Boutin, executive vice president at the National Health Council, an advocacy group for people with chronic health conditions.

Potential trouble spots include prescription drugs, specialist care and services such as physical therapy that typically require a course of treatment over weeks or months.

The health law prohibits insurers from turning down sick people for coverage and generally eliminates lifetime and annual dollar limits on benefits, including hospitalization and prescription drugs.

The law also caps the amount people spend out-of-pocket in 2014 at $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/31/258670193/despite-health-law-many-people-may-be-left-underinsured?ft=1&f=131849999

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