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Health Care Reform Marks Its 1st Anniversary

Audio

Aired 3/23/11

Today marks the first anniversary of the federal health reform law. Many Californians have taken advantage of some of the benefits.

— Many Californians have taken advantage of some of benefits of the national Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law one year ago.

Under the law, children up to age 26 can be covered under their parents' insurance. And preventive services like mammograms and well-baby check ups must be provided free-of-charge.

Herb Schultz, regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the Obama administration is willing to consider any ideas to improve the law.

"But we're not willing to go back to the days when could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or drop their coverage when they get sick," Schultz emphasized.

California is laying the groundwork for a health insurance exchange, which will allow consumers to buy more affordable private coverage. It will be available in 2014.

Another provision that goes into effect in 2014 will prevent insurers from excluding anyone because of a pre-existing condition. Currently, only children under 18 are protected from being excluded.

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