Healthcare Reform Law Ruling Imminent
By Dr. James Palermo // June 18, 2012
(Video by Modern Healthcare)
BREVARD COUNTY–U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rulings are usually announced on Mondays or Thursdays, so both opponents and supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) were on pins and needles today preparing for the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the law due any day, or, today being the second to last Monday in June, possibly any minute. However, the high court entered the final two weeks of its ongoing term without issuing a ruling today on the constitutional challenges to the PPACA.
Ruling Most Likely Next Week
The anticipation will again be high on Thursday, but most SCOTUS pundits, based on the timing of past controversial decisions from the high court, believe that a decision during the week of June 25th would be most likely.
Both camps are exuding confidence that the high court will come down on their side, but, at the same time, strategically planning how to salvage portions of the law or, in the case of Republicans, how to force a vote to repeal the entire law if the court upholds portions of the PPACA.
Some Carriers to Keep Popular Insurance Related PPACA Provisions
No matter what transpires however, as reported here, UnitedHealth Group, Humana, and Aetna, all of which have a significant presence on the Space Coast, announced last week that they will continue to offer some of the federal health reform law’s popular provisions regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the PPACA.
Those provisions include immunizations, diabetes screenings and other preventive services without co-pays; allowing children to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26; simple ways for enrollees to appeal coverage claim decisions; and, in the case of Humana and UnitedHealth, not reinstating lifetime dollar coverage limits on policies and eliminating rescissions, except in cases involving fraud.
It is clear that the major insurers are positioning themselves to reassure the consumers, who may be concerned that the high court’s decision would affect their coverage, and to be viewed as doing the right thing for their members.
Some Carriers, Including Health First, To Wait For The High Court Decision
Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellPoint have stated that they would wait for the Supreme Court decision before announcing a verdict on their consumer-friendly offerings.
Margaret Haney, President of Health First Health Plan, the only healthcare insurance carrier headquartered in Brevard County and responsible for the heathcare coverage of over 60,000 Space Coast residents, said, “We have not made any definite decisions about which parts of PPACA we would retain should it be overturned, but my general thought is we would follow the major market players.”