Baca Announces New Health Insurance Reforms to Go Into Effect
Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) announced that this week, a slate of key patient rights and protections will begin to take effect for the American people. The new "Patient's Bill of Rights" was a key component of the Affordable Care Act, and is designed to put patients and doctors -- not the health insurance companies -- back in charge of the health care of the American people. After decades of insurance company abuses, this "Patient's Bill of Rights" is vitally needed by millions of Americans.
"Too many Americans have been left out in the cold by the predatory practices of the big insurance companies," said Rep. Baca. "The Patient's Bill of Rights that goes into effect this week finally puts an end to the worst practices of the bad apples in the insurance industry -- like dropping coverage when a person gets sick, or denying a child insurance because of a pre-existing health condition. These provisions of health care reform will level the playing field, and help to create lower costs and healthier futures for hard working Americans everywhere."
Provisions of the Patient's Bill of Rights that go into effect for the next plan year starting on September 23 include:
* Prohibiting insurance companies from retroactively cancelling a policy once a policy holder gets sick;
* Prohibiting insurance plans from denying coverage and limiting benefits for children based on a pre-existing condition;
* Outlawing lifetime limits on coverage, so families will no longer risk bankruptcy because a loved one gets sick or suffers an accident;
* Outlawing annual limits on coverage;
* Allowing young people to remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26;
* Guaranteeing patients their choice of primary care doctor within their plan's network of doctors; and
* Prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage for needed care without a chance to appeal to an independent third party.
"Outlawing annual coverage limits, permanently ending retroactive rescissions of coverage, and stopping denials of coverage for children with pre-existing conditions are all huge victories for the American people," concluded Rep. Baca. "These reforms will have an immediate positive impact on the lives of hard working Americans, and will continue to be expanded over time as more facets of the new health care reform are responsibly implemented. I will continue to fight in Congress to give families and doctors, not insurance giants, control of their own health decisions."
To learn more about the Patient's Bill of Rights and other ways that health reform will help the American people, visit www.healthcare.gov.