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Insurers Not Waiting For Federal Health Care Law

Last updated on Monday, June 25, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Supreme Court should rule this week on the federal health care law. But some big insurance companies aren’t waiting.

Aetna, Humana and United Healthcare have all announced they'll keep five new coverage requirements, including coverage of dependents up to age 26, regardless of what the court decides.

The companies are also pledging to give full coverage to preventive care, abolish lifetime benefits caps, and establish clear appeals processes. And they're promising not to revoke coverage except in cases of fraud.

IU Center for Law and Health co-director David Orentlicher says those provisions are all overwhelmingly popular pieces within the still-controversial health care law. But all three companies balk at the most popular provision of all: covering people with preexisting conditions. Orentlicher says there's no way for the companies to make that coverage economically feasible without universal coverage.

IU Center for Health Policy Director Eric Wright says covering 26-year-olds is an inexpensive way for insurers to build public goodwill, since those people are less likely to have health problems.

Indianapolis-based WellPoint hasn't made any changes -- a written statement says it will announce its plans shortly after the court rules. Other companies are standing pat for now as well.

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