United[in]Health Care Reform

UnitedHealth, one of the dominating forces in the country’s health insurance industry, announced on Monday that the company will keep several of the most crucial provisions from the Affordable Care Act, regardless of the ultimate Supreme Court ruling. As a major power in the health insurance field, this is a great move not only to shed light on the benefits of health care reform, but to set the standard for other insurance companies. Whether or not the ACA is kept in effect, UnitedHealth is showing support for the overall betterment of health, the ability for more individuals to have access to good health care, and regulating costs.

Since the response to many of the provisions has been positive, UnitedHealth wants to make sure their customers are still going to stay on board, and not be disappointed if the law gets overturned. By market value, UnitedHealth is the largest carrier of health insurance in America. 26 million individuals are covered by their plans, and they don’t want to lose any of them to a change in health care law.

The provisions that UnitedHealth intends to continue include the age limit of 26 for dependents on their parents’ health plan, certain preventive care services without a co-pay (such as yearly check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations), as well as getting rid of any lifetime dollar limits. The company plans to maintain the rescission law, which prohibits the retroactive termination of a health plan for any reason other than actual fraud. Third-party appeals will also be permitted for medical services that a person for which a person has been denied. These key elements may help UnitedHealth stay in the lead of the increasingly competitive insurance market, while actually helping the people they serve.

Competitor companies Aetna and Humana addressed the topic several hours after the UnitedHealth announcement, claiming they would also honor the child dependents under 26 rule, as well as providing some preventive care without an out-of-pocket fee. Hopefully these companies will all expand their coverage, and bring options to the health insurance market to protect the rights of the individual. While their aim is retaining clients, of course, it is also for the greater good of the healthcare industry and the nation’s health status. America still needs much improvement when it comes to being healthy, and having access to necessary services for a reasonable price, therefore these provisions are important to keep in place.


About B. Somers

B. Somers is a contributor to Health Insurance News, focusing on medical coverage, carriers, health reform and the conflicts surrounding insurance. Writing for the company's sites has provided a strong introduction to health insurance, and the opportunity to gain knowledge in the insurance industry.