Today, President Obama is celebrating the six month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. To help celebrate, we are unveiling a new website – www.WhiteHouse.gov/HealthReform that provides critical information regarding the Affordable Care Act. The site includes 50 stories from individuals and employers in every state and new state-by-state reports that detail how reform is already strengthening the health care system in your state.
You can listen to audio stories from Americans who are benefitting from the new law and watch this video of Gail O’Brien who received a surprise phone call from President Obama. Gail was previously uninsured and diagnosed with high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Thanks to the new law, Gail now has insurance through the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that will pay for her treatments, and she is responding very well.
The six month anniversary marks a major milestone for our health care system. The Patient’s Bill of Rights will take effect, putting an end to some of the worst insurance industry abuses.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights:
- Bans discrimination against kids with pre-existing conditions.
- Allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday.
- Prohibits insurance companies from cutting off your coverage when you’re sick if you made a mistake on your application.
- Prohibits insurance companies from putting a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage you may receive, and restricts the use of annual limits until they are banned completely in 2014.
And if you join a new plan:
- You have the right to choose your own doctor in your insurer network.
- Your insurer is banned from charging more for emergency services obtained outside of their network.
- You will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party.
- You will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered, and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.
The enactment of the Patient’s Bill of Rights comes during a week when we’ve already received good news about the Affordable Care Act and our health insurance premiums. On Monday, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina announced that, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 215,000 customers will receive refunds totaling $155.8 million. Tuesday brought more good news when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that, on average, premiums for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage would go down, while enrollment in the program is expected to increase. You can learn more about how the new law is strengthening our health care system in your state by visiting the new site today. Or visit HealthCare.gov to learn about all of the coverage options in your community based on your unique needs and circumstances.