Court Challenge to Health Care Law a Major Threat for Older Adults and People with Preexisting Health Conditions
Efforts to repeal the new health law continue. A new threat has emerged in the form of a court challenge, Texas v. United States, asserting the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down. With support from a recent brief filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), this challenge pierces the heart of the law’s core protections that were put in place to ensure older adults and people with preexisting conditions have access to comprehensive and affordable health care.
Stability Fund Won’t Keep Premiums From Going Through the Roof for People With Preexisting Conditions
The American Health Care Act (AHCA), H.R.1628, allows states to create high-risk pools for people with preexisting health conditions under certain circumstances. High-risk pools are supposed to provide access to health insurance for people who cannot get coverage in the individual (non-group) health insurance market. In a previous analysis, we noted that states have never funded high-risk pools adequately. The result: A small number of consumers paid very high premiums for skimpy coverage. Many others went without health insurance because they could not afford it.
People with health insurance through large employers may assume the outcome of the current health debate won’t affect them. But it can. To start, yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that 3 million people would lose employer-based insurance coverage as a result of changes proposed in the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But the bill’s harmful effects would reach far beyond those 3 million people; in fact, virtually everyone is vulnerable. Here’s how:
Recent policy conversations related to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) have focused on proposals that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s critical protection for people with preexisting conditions. This controversial proposal has drawn a lot of attention for good reason. Eliminating this important protection, which keeps insurance companies in the individual (non-group) market from considering health status when making coverage decisions, could hurt millions — especially older adults who tend to develop more health conditions as they age.
We already know that health insurance legislation known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a bad deal for older Americans ages 50-64. For people who purchase coverage on their own in the individual (nongroup) market and are not yet eligible for Medicare, the bill would significantly increase premiums for all older adults and spike costs dramatically for lower- and moderate-income older adults.
The revised American Health Care Act (AHCA) threatens to do away with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with preexisting health conditions. These protections prevent insurance companies from denying these individuals coverage or charging them higher rates based on their health.
Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer or through government-sponsored programs like Medicare or Medicaid. People who do not have access to those forms of coverage — for instance, because they are between jobs or are self-employed — typically buy health insurance directly from private insurers on the individual market.
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