For all the angst over the federal health reform that has come to be known as “ObamaCare,” many of its provisions are hardly controversial, and some are quite popular. The idea of federal intervention in health care scares people a lot more than the specifics that are in law.
Thus it should not be much of a surprise that UnitedHealth Group — the nation’s largest health insurer — announced today that it will keep several of those provisions in place even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law later this month. Taking them away from consumers who have them now would be a major public relations headache.
The company, for example, said it would continue to allow adult children up to age 26 to gain coverage through their parents’ policies, and it would continue the federally mandated policy that ended lifetime maximums on the amount of benefits insurers pay out on behalf of their customers. The firm also said it would continue to provide certain preventive care benefits with no out of pocket charges to consumers.
“The protections we are voluntarily extending are good for people’s health, promote broader access to quality care and contribute to helping control rising health care costs. These provisions make sense for the people we serve, and it is important to ensure they know these provisions will continue,” said Stephen J. Hemsley, president and CEO of UnitedHealth Group, in a statement. “These provisions are compatible with our mission and continue our operating practices.”
The company did not say whether it would continue to phase out annual limits on coverage and offer coverage to children without regard to pre-existing conditions.
To see the company’s announcement, go here.
To see a Wall Street Journal story on the announcement, go here.
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Tags: health reform