E2010 Wired

The power of our words can inspire change in a single person, then two, then the world.

Substantial Health Care Coverage Goes into Effect!

Thursday, September 23, 2010 – substantial protections for your family’s health insurance coverage became the law of the land.  Forget all the chatter out there – these are real improvements for our families.

Here are some significant new changes that may affect you*:

  • Insurers must stop denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions – In the past, each year thousands of children who were either born with or developed a costly medical condition were denied coverage by insurers.  No more.
  • Expanded coverage for young adults – In most circumstances, young adults can now stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26. (We already won this in Connecticut for some of us; now it covers almost all Connecticut families.)
  • No arbitrary rescinding (retroactive cancellation) of your coverage when you get sick – In the past, clerical error or other technicalities were sometimes used to rescind coverage when we got sick. After September 23rd, this is no longer possible, protecting us and our families from lengthy battles to restore coverage.
  • Free preventive care – New health insurance plans will be mandated to provide preventive services with no co-payments. This includes care like mammograms, immunization, and wellness visits.
  • No more “lifetime limits” – Currently, over 100 million Americans could face hardship if they max out their insurance benefits. No one understands this more than cancer patients do; they can often exhaust lifetime benefits in a matter of months. Without lifetime benefit limits, people can receive the coverage we need without worry.
  • The right to appeal insurance company decisions – When an insurer denies a claim or rescinds coverage, where do we turn? Because laws vary from state to state and information is limited, most consumers do not even know we have the legal right to challenge unfair rulings. The Affordable Care Act will now allow Americans to appeal to external review boards if necessary, and provides $30 million to states to strengthen consumer assistance offices.

(In most cases these protections will cover you and your family when any current health care policy you have renews over the next 12 months or when you purchase a new policy.*)

Over the next four years, more provisions of The Affordable Care Act – the federal reform law – are going to going to kick in to make health care more secure, more reliable, and more affordable.

We’ve already won all this.  In Connecticut, we have a great opportunity ahead to secure quality, affordable health care sooner, to expand health care choices for all of us, and to cover more middle-class and low-income families. Sign up here for more information on how to help Connecticut strengthen health care reform – and help get us there faster.

Enjoy what we’ve won – and keep working to expand the victory.

– Paul, for the families of CT Parent Power

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