8.02.12 With the U.S. Supreme Court affirming the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality and Republicans so far unable to repeal it, provisions of the law are taking effect in advance of full implementation slated for 2014. Wednesday was the deadline to mail or provide credit card refunds for policyholders in cases where insurance companies didn't, as the law requires, spend at least 80 percent of premiums on health care rather than administrative or other non-care-related expenses.
Nationally, 5.5 million beneficiaries are getting rebates averaging $135 per person. In Louisiana, companies came closer to the 80 percent requirement, as 51,627 insurance policy holders are getting rebates checks averaging only $43.
Another provision taking effect Wednesday requires health insurance plans to provide services and tests for women with no out-of-pocket costs, including co-pays.