Bill may narrow health plan coverage exclusions

Right now, when consumers change health plans, federal law allows the new plan to refuse coverage of pre-existing conditions for 12 months. However, things may end up being different if a new bill limiting such exclusions passes. In addition to cutting the 12 month pre-existing coverage exclusion to three months, the bill also would bar insurers from looking back more than 30 days in a patient's health record to see whether there are pre-existing conditions. Right now, federal law allows them to look back six months. The bill, authored by U.S. Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT), primarily is aimed at helping people who are moving from one employer's health plan to another, or are switching from group coverage to an individual policy. However, the bill also could have a significant impact on millions of people who are attempting to enter the health insurance market by buying individual policies, which have been somewhat under siege.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this article from The Hartford Courant

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