Carson: Key Patient's Right Begin to Take Effect
Six months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, several key patient rights and protections are set to go into effect, Congressman Carson announced today. These changes seek to stop the decades of abuse that Americans faced from health insurance companies.
The new "Patient's Bill of Rights outlaws some of the most egregious practices of the insurance industry, while providing the stability and flexibility that families need to make the choices that work best for them.
"The changes going into effect today are about Hoosier families taking back control of their medical decisions from health insurance companies," said Congressman Carson. "Too often, insurance companies have been more focused on profits than patients. They showed this time and time again by routinely dropping people from their coverage when they needed it most.
"The reforms that take effect today, such as allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance plan until age 26, are key components of the historic health care reform law. These reforms mark the next step towards a healthier nation with more sustainable health care costs."
All of the new provisions take effect for the next plan year starting on or after today. That means that they'll be in effect during the next open enrollment for a person's employer plan or the next time they re-enroll in or purchase a policy from an insurer.
Highlights of the Patient's Bill of Rights
* Prohibits insurance plans from rescinding coverage when a person gets sick, except in cases of fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of facts.
* Prohibits insurance plans both from denying coverage and limiting benefits for children based on a pre-existing condition.
* Outlaws lifetime limits.
* Phases out the use of annual limits.
* Requires insurance plans that offer family coverage to allow young people up to their 26th birthday to remain on their parents' insurance plan.
* Guarantees that patients have their choice of a primary care doctor within their plan's network of doctors, including OB-GYNs and pediatricians without a referral.
* Preventive services will be available without deductable or co-payments.
* Prohibits insurance plans from charging higher cost-sharing for emergency services that are obtained out of a plan's network.
* Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for needed care without a chance to appeal to an independent third party.
To learn more about these provisions and other ways that health reform will help, please visit www.healthcare.gov.