Patient groups seek assurance of coverage for pre-existing conditions
The letter, which was co-authored by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, and the American Diabetes Association, was sent to Representatives on Jan. 5.
“Our organizations are deeply concerned about the possible loss of key protections in current law that guarantee access to comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage for patients with pre-existing health conditions,” reads the text of the letter.
According to the groups, prior to 2014 health insurance coverage was refused to patients with pre-existing conditions, insurance companies refused to cover health care expenses or those patients were charged higher premiums than their counterparts without such health care issues.
“Individuals who were diagnosed with a serious illness often found their coverage rescinded,” the letter said. These actions by insurance companies were widespread the groups claim, saying that “more than half of non-elderly Americans have conditions that would have precluded them from health insurance coverage under the pre-existing condition and medical underwriting rules that existed in most states [prior to the Affordable Care Act].”
The groups warn that returning to a market where insurance companies can impose caps or rescind coverage will weaken the goals of access to health care for people with serious illnesses.
“We should not return to an insurance market that often excluded those who needed coverage the most,” the organizations said.