RICHMOND — Certain provisions of the Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Action
of 2010 have been in place for nearly a year. Other key aspects of this federal
legislation, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are forthcoming in the next
few years. The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance has prepared
a free publication to help explain the health care reform changes that may affect
your health insurance plan.
The 2011 Virginia General Assembly revised the Commonwealth’s laws to enforce what
are called the immediate provisions of these federally-enacted laws. These changes
were mainly effective for plan years and policy years that began on or after September
23, 2010. These immediate provisions are now explained in a free consumer publication
prepared by the Bureau. Entitled “Federal Health Care Reform – Do Recent Changes
Have You Puzzled?,” the publication helps consumers better understand how their coverage
might be affected. The publication addresses such issues as insurance cancellations,
annual and lifetime limits on benefits, costs for preventive services, choice of
health care providers, coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, and much
Not all health insurance plans have changed. Grandfathered health benefit plans
or policies are not required to meet certain provisions. The publication describes
what is meant by the term “grandfathered health benefit plan or policy.” It also
explains ways to determine whether your health benefit plan or policy is grandfathered,
and which immediate provisions affect grandfathered health benefit plans or policies.
The publication also includes a glossary of frequently used health insurance terms.
Funding for the publication was provided to the Bureau through a federal Consumer
Assistance Program grant established under the ACA. The publication is just one
of many consumer guides and other materials available on the SCC website regarding
federal health care reform and a variety of other insurance-related topics. For
a copy of this free publication or other consumer materials offered by the Bureau
of Insurance, visit the Bureau’s website at www.scc.virginia.gov/boi or call toll-free
at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at (804) 371-9092. Consumers who are hearing or
speech impaired may call through the SCC’s Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
and hard of hearing (TDD) at (804) 371-9206. This document and other guides are
also available by writing to the State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance,
P.O. Box 1157, Richmond, Virginia 23218. The Bureau can also assist non English-speaking
consumers with questions or concerns regarding insurance either on its toll-free
line or at its main telephone number (804) 371-9741.
The Bureau of Insurance also offers free consumer outreach programs on a number
of insurance topics. Speakers are available to talk to your group or organization
on the insurance topics of your choice, and provide answers to general questions
regarding insurance. For more information, contact the Bureau’s Life and Health
Insurance Outreach Coordinator, Olivia B. Claud at 804-371-9389 or by email at L&HOutreach@scc.virginia.gov.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visit