Pre-existing Condition Insurance Protect
Senator John Rockefellar(D-WV) and Rep.Joseph Courtney(D-CT)introduced H.R.S623/HR 1558 "Preexisting Condition Exclusion patient Protection Act 2009. "These companion bills ensure access to health insurance by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions and waiting periods for all individuals regardless of age or insurance type". This is a summary from Senator Rockefeller's website.
Clearly, this is a vitally important piece of legislation for all of us who have had cancer. In the weeks to come, there will be more information available. It is never too soon, however, to call or write your own senator and congressman(woman) to express your support.
The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act will eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions in all insurance markets, a major step forward for the 133 million Americans living with at least one chronic condition.
Eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions is a priority of the Obama Administration and Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Courtney plan to work closely with President Obama to enact this vital legislation.
Insurance market reform must be a central part of comprehensive health reform. Both Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Courtney believe that all individuals should have access to comprehensive, meaningful, and affordable health insurance coverage—and this legislation is a critical component of achieving that goal.
Summary of the legislation
- The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act is a bill to protect consumers excluded from receiving health insurance coverage due to a "pre-existing condition."
- The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report to Congress on the extent of adverse selection (i.e. which happens when less healthy people disproportionately enroll in a risk pool) that occurs because insurers can no longer exclude patients with pre-existing conditions. This report must include data from private insurers on the characteristics of their insured population. This new reporting requirement would provide transparency on the true mix of patients and patient claims experience among private insurers; and
- Require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report to Congress addressing the impact of this legislation on reducing the number of uninsured and underinsured, as well as its effect on the affordability of health insurance coverage. This is meant to highlight both the positive impact this new policy will have on making coverage more accessible for individuals with chronic conditions, but also recognize that without further regulatory changes, coverage may not be affordable for these individuals.
- The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act of 2009 has been endorsed by twenty-two organizations, including: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association; American Heart Association/American Stroke Association; Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.; Association of Community Cancer Centers; Breast Cancer Network of Strength; Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy; Congenital Heart; Information Network; Dermatology Nurses' Association; First Focus; International Myeloma Foundation; Lung Cancer Alliance; Lupus Foundation of America; Mended Little Hearts; National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; National Patient Advocate Foundation; Oncology Nursing Society; Ovarian Cancer National Alliance; Pediatric Stroke Network, Inc.; Sarcoma Foundation of America; Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and The Wellness Community.