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UnitedHealth to Keep Protections, Regardless of Supreme Court

By Andrew Lu on June 14, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

This seems unheard of: One of the nation's largest insurers going above and beyond what they have to do.

But that's exactly what UnitedHealth Group announced they planned to do.

It's a rather timely announcement. The Affordable Care Act is under attack, and the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to rule on the validity of this law later this month.

Currently, federal healthcare law requires insurers to provide certain protections to consumers. Protections like covering adult children under their parent's plan up to the age of 26, or offering coverage without lifetime limits. There's also providing preventative care like screening for diabetes without requiring a co-payment, reports The New York Times.

Beating the high court to the punch, UnitedHealth says it will continue to follow some of the popular requirements under the federal healthcare law even if the Supreme Court rules the law invalid, reports the Times.

So even if the Court rules that Congress cannot force the healthcare law onto insurers, the insurers themselves can still voluntarily choose to follow the law.

And as the UnitedHealth Group is one of the nation's largest health insurers, the company will put pressure on other insurers to follow suit.

Specifically, the UnitedHealth Group said it will continue to cover adult children until they reach 26 under their parent's plan, offer coverage without lifetime limits, and provide preventive health care services like immunizations or screening for diabetes without requiring patient co-payments, reports the Times.

But it's not clear if UnitedHealth will continue to follow other requirements in the existing law like not denying coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition or not asking those in poor health to pay more.

UnitedHealth Group announced that it planned to continue to offer consumer protections currently required in federal healthcare law even if the Supreme Court later declares this law invalid.

A generous move by the insurance company, that also happens to be a great marketing tactic too.

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