After days of procural votes, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally passed in the Senate early Thursday morning by a margin of 60-39. The sweeping reform legislation now moves to a conference committee where Senate and House negotiators will forge a single bill that each chamber must once more vote on before sending it on to the President for final passage.

Rife with implications for the insurance industry, the bill includes prohibitions on denying coverage for preexisting conditions and on rescinding coverage when policyholders fall ill. The legislation also introduces health care exchanges where individuals or groups can buy coverage and seeks to regulate the “medical loss ratio” or percentage of premium dollars that insurance companies spend on patient services versus profits or administrative costs.

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