Premium Rebates, Coverage Labels, Reduced Medicare Drug Costs Highlight 2012 Health Law Changes

Two years after its passage, the sweeping health care overhaul remains deeply controversial, with both political parties trying to use it to their advantage in the upcoming elections. As GOP lawmakers constantly deride "Obamacare" and threaten to repeal it, it’s easy to forget that implementation marches on, and a number of notable changes will take effect for consumers this year.

They will, that is, unless the Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the law, including the requirement that nearly everyone have health insurance beginning in 2014. If that happens, all bets are off. Provisions that have already taken effect -- such as allowing adult children to remain on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and the 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for seniors who reach the so-called donut hole in their prescription drug plans -- could be rolled back, and provisions for 2012 cancelled. The court will hear arguments in the case later this month and a decision is expected this summer.

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Source: Kaiser Health News