Tennesseee Health Care Campaign (THCC)

Working for guaranteed affordable choices

Archive for September, 2010

No more rescissions! Insurers can no longer unfairly cancel your policy.

Posted by Beth Uselton on September 24, 2010

Starting today, Tennesseans with health insurance have added security that the coverage and benefits they’ve paid for will be there if they face a catastrophic illness or injury. Starting September 23, 2010 health insurance companies can no longer drop your policy or retroactively cancel it if you get sick. The term for this practice is rescission and it’s now a thing of the past!

Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, insurers could use loopholes or inadvertent omissions in people’s paperwork to justify rescinding their policy when they actually tried to use the benefits they paid for. This unfair practice usually happened when a policyholder needed expensive care. Before health reform, your insurance company could find and use very common paperwork mistakes (like forgetting to list on your application a prescription you took 10 years ago) to cancel your insurance and demand that you pay back money for medical bills they covered in the past.

Rescissions blindside patients, often leaving them in the terrible position of being uninsured, uninsurable (due to what would often be labeled a pre-existing medical condition by other insurers) and facing medical debt for bills they thought would be paid by the insurance company that dropped them. Starting today, the new health reform law prohibits insurers of new and renewing plans from rescinding coverage except in cases of intentional fraud. Also, Insurers seeking to rescind coverage must provide at least 30 days advance notice to give patients time to appeal.

Insurance companies spent over $500 million dollars opposing health care reform because they knew it would hold them accountable. The new law does just that by banning them from dropping coverage for people just when they need it most. To find out more about the new health care law, visit our Health Reform Hub at http://www.thcc2.org


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Young Adults Now Have Peace of Mind

Posted by Beth Uselton on September 23, 2010

Here at the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, we are excited to see key provisions of the health care reform bill already going into effect just six months after it was signed into law. One really cool thing that we’re looking forward to is the fact that young adults are now allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until their 26th birthday.  Starting on September 23, 2010 all new and renewing insurance plans must allow parents to add their young adult children back onto their family policy if they choose. You don’t need to be a student.  You don’t have to be a dependent on your parents’ taxes.  You can be married. You can even live in another state!  The only stipulation is that you can’t already have insurance offered through your job.

This is great news for a young man in Jackson, TN. He was recently dropped from his parents’ insurance after reaching the policy’s age limit. This meant that he and his family could no longer afford the medication for his bipolar affective disorder. Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, he can get back on the family plan and receive the care he needs.

Young adults represent the largest group of uninsured people in the U.S. (more than 10 million uninsured adults are age 19 – 26!) But they are also the healthiest. Making sure that they are in the risk pool helps to lower premiums for the rest of us. It also provides them and their families with much-needed security and peace of mind. Because they no longer have to worry about losing heir health insurance just because they are graduating or working at a job that doesn’t offer health insurance, many parents and their adult children are going to be able to sleep much easier.

To take advantage of this new benefit in the law, parents should contact their employer or their insurance company.  To learn more about how the new health care law benefits you, your family, and the rest of the Tennessee, visit our Health Reform Hub at www.thcc2.org.

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Posted by Beth Uselton on September 21, 2010

One of the first major benefits of health reform goes into effect on Thursday. Insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. This news is music to the ears of many loving parents who have struggled to piece together the care their children need. Out of 1.5 million children in Tennessee, over 115,000 have been diagnosed with conditions that could potentially lead to the denial of coverage prior to September 23, 2010. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act now provides those children with security and their families with piece of mind.

This protection resonates with one courageous mother from Chattanooga. Over a year ago she faced losing coverage for the formula necessary for her 2 year-old. Her daughter was born with Down syndrome and an incomplete esophagus. She has to be fed through a feeding tube. The formula was over $1000 per month. The health insurance premium had gone up, but that part of her coverage had been carved out. The mother and her husband struggled with the insurance company and financially. Thankfully, they were able to piece together the costs so her daughter continued to receive the formula necessary to sustain her. Now such practices by the insurance industry are no longer allowable.

If this new provision can help someone you love, please pass this information along and encourage them to contact their employer or insurance company to get their children the new protections and coverage they deserve.  If you and your children will be helped by this, contact your local paper or radio station to share your story and help them get the word out to other families in your community who may be helped also.

To stay abreast of health reform implementation in the state of Tennessee, visit our Health Reform Hub at www.thcc2.org.

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