White House releases synopsis of new healthcare reform regulations

The White House has released a five-page fact sheet on new healthcare reform regulations issued Tuesday by the departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor. The regulations concern annual and lifetime limits on benefits, rescissions and pre-existing conditions for children.

"For most plans starting on or after September 23, these rules stop insurance companies from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on your children; prohibit insurers from rescinding or taking away your coverage based on an unintentional mistake on an application; ban insurers from setting lifetime limits on your coverage; and restrict their use of annual limits on coverage," the fact sheet states.

In addition, "these rules ensure that you can choose the primary care doctor or pediatrician you want from your plan’s provider network, and that you can see an OB-GYN without needing a referral. Insurance companies will not be able to require you to get prior approval before seeking emergency care at a hospital outside your plan’s network. These protections apply to health plans that are not grandfathered."

President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak shortly about healthcare reform and its implementation after meeting with insurance company executives and state insurance commissioners.