Healthcare Changes Take Effect

Healthcare is already seeing changes, six months to the day the Healthcare Reform Bill was signed by President Barack Obama.

Millions of Americas will be affected by the new federal health law and that could mean you.

Major provisions will change the way healthcare is offered in this country.  While some may see the changes as a benefit, health insurance agents have to look at the good and the bad.

Kelly Fristoe is a health insurance agent, one who has analyzed the effects of the new health provisions.

"The expansion of benefits falls back on the insurance company and it comes back in the form of higher premiums," said Fristoe.

He says there's many reasons for that.  Of the many new provisions going into effect, he cites one:  allowing the insured to receive cost free preventative services like screenings and vaccinations.  Fristoe says that in turn effects the bottom line, making premiums go up so companies can afford it.

"There's not much about this that's creating affordability within the markets," said Fristoe.

Even so, there's still plenty of other changes that many see as positive.  Like the one letting parents keep their children on their plan until they're 26.

And another not allowing companies to put a lifetime dollar limit on the benefits of those with costly conditions like cancer.

"It's limitless.  There is no limit so that care can go through $5 million, $10 million, $20 million.  Whatever that dollar amount is," he said.

The Community Healthcare Center in Wichita Falls has been preparing for the changes for quite sometime.  They expect to see more people coming in.

"We see it as an opportunity, certainly an opportunity to serve more folks in our area," said Brett Moyer, the community relations coordinator.

He says there are some concerns.

"The medical community in general has concerns, about the ability of providers to
provide care for folks," said Moyer.

Regardless they're prepared to handle whatever comes their way.

Under the portions of the healthcare that went into effect today.  Health care companies can't deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

Kelly says most insurance companies in Texas released a memo recently saying they're no longer offering child only policies.  So parents need to go through their employer or through the federal pre-existing insurance conditions plan.

Starting in 2014 most Americans will be required to carry health insurance.

Crystal hall News Channel 6.