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The Center for American Progress held a panel discussion of health insurance experts to examine what new consumer protections have already been implemented and what changes the American public can expect in the health insurance market in the very near future. The discussion also underscored the major role the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) will play in the implementation of health care reform.

Changes that have already been implemented include:

  • A new high-risk pool program.
  • Reinsurance fund for companies that provide retiree coverage.
  • Financial assistance to Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug expenses.
  • New rules for health insurance plans that will protect patients from discriminatory practices.
  • Improvements in prevention coverage.
  • New access to coverage for young adults.

Here is what you can do to make sure you stay engaged during the implementation of the new law:

  • Get to know your State Insurance Commissioner and the NAIC.
  • Pay attention to legislation that is introduced in your state legislature related to health care reform. (HFA will be tracking relevant legislation as state’s introduce relevant bills in early 2011, please check our state map http://hemophiliafed.org/advocacy/state-policy-issues/ regularly.)
  • Keep advocating during your state legislative session for proper implementation of provisions that affect you and your family.
  • Comment on proposed legislation that may be published by relevant state agencies.
  • Join commissions, committees or panels that are created by your state to help with health care reform implementation; many states have created or will create these entities.
  • Tell your story!  Communicate how health care reform has benefited you and even tell your story if you have run into problems accessing new benefits of the law. You can contact HFA, your state legislature, state insurance commissioner, local media, and your Members of Congress

For more information on how you should get involved do not hesitate to contact HFA! To watch the panel discussion visit the Center for American Progress website:  http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2010/09/sixmonths.html

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