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Health care changes bring relief, confusion

READ MORE: Health care changes bring relief, confusion
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Today new health care laws go into effect that will bring a sigh of relief to some Americans. For others they only bring confusion

It's one of President Obama's key promises, and today that promise is now a reality. Key parts of the health care law are now in effect, and the legislation that came out of Washington is making an impact here in Wilmington

These new provisions will allow young people to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26 years old, put an end to the lifetime cap on how much insurance someone can get and cover children with pre-existing conditions.

For some health insurance companies all this is brand new, but Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina says it's not so new to them.

"This is something we actually put in place early, so we started doing this in May, and prior to that we were the only carrier that was guaranteed issue in the state for many years," BCBSNC spokeswoman Laurie Ellis said, who also said there's a problem.

"Customers are confused, I think, is a good way to put it in terms of response from our customers," Ellis said. "There's a lot of information out there and not out there on health care reform. They don't understand the phasing of health care reform provisions."

The public agrees. John Balyoz came here from France more than 30 years ago. He puts the blame on Washington.

"It depends on who you listen to," Balyoz said. "If you listen to the people speaking for the administration you get one story. If you listen to the other side you get another story."

Wilmington optometrist Michael Goins says he particularly likes that young people can now stay on their parents insurance until they turn 26. A welcome change for young people struggling to find work in this tight economy.

"This is a wonderful stop-gap to help young folks who are not covered and not in school. One of the things insurance does require is if you're a student you have to be attending school," Dr. Goins said.

Doctors say even though some are happy about the changes, people should prepare for their premiums to go up because the insurance companies have to provide more coverage.

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