Large number of residents could face health coverage denial absent reform
Congressman Sander Levin commented today on a study released by Families USA showing that approximately 2,056,000 Michigan residents have a pre-existing health condition that, absent reform, could lead to a denial of insurance by a health insurance company or higher premiums.
"Ending discrimination based on pre-existing conditions was a vital element of health care reform and this report demonstrates how important reform is to Michiganders," said Rep. Levin. "The idea that someone could be refused health care because they are diabetic or have high-blood pressure is simply unconscionable."
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibits discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, starting with children this year, and expanding to all in 2014. In the interim, a federally subsidized high-risk pool will provide an affordable option for Michigan residents without insurance who have been uninsured for six months or more.
The Families USA report found that nearly 25% of the population under age 65 in Michigan has a pre-existing condition. This includes individuals in every age group with concentrations rising from 7.5% of those under 18 (totaling 180,900 children) to 48% of those aged 55 to 64. Nationally, nearly one in five Americans has a pre-existing condition.