Health care reform. It would be easy to let those three words define 2010 for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. While I will not deny that the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on March 23, 2010, had a significant impact on Blue Cross, I prefer to remember 2010 with these words: dedication, preparation and commitment.
Shortly after PPACA became law, countless Blue Cross employees jumped into action, dedicating themselves to ensuring the company took all necessary steps to fully comply with the law while also providing our policyholders, members and contracting providers the tools to help them understand what the law means for them.
The initial focus of these efforts was to make the necessary changes so our benefit plans would include the new consumer protections which PPACA required at anniversary dates on or after Sept. 23, 2010. Key among these were allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ coverage to age 26 and eliminating lifetime maximums. In addition, many members began to have access to plans that required no-cost sharing for preventive health services.
To assist our members and contracting providers understand the new law, a special section was created on our Web site. This section includes podcasts, videos, topic summaries, a detailed timeline and frequently asked questions.