A statement by the Department of Health and Human Services says as of Thursday, health insurers will no longer be able to:
-- Deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage for a child younger than age 19 because he or she has a pre-existing condition like asthma.
-- Put lifetime limits on benefits. Insurance plans can no longer put a lifetime dollar limit on the benefits of people with costly conditions like cancer.
-- Cancel a policy solely because a policyholder or his or her employer made an honest mistake on an insurance application.
-- Deny claims without a chance for appeal, which can include an independent reviewer.
Those with health insurance will be able to:
-- Receive cost-free preventive services such as screening for breast cancer, vaccinations and counseling without any out-of-pocket costs.
-- Keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26.
-- Choose a primary care doctor, obstetrician/gynecologist and pediatrician from the health plan's provider network.
-- Use the nearest emergency room without penalty or prior approval.
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