White House Blog Post: New Health Insurance Options, New Consumer Protections in the New Year

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 1/2/2014, 12:39 p.m.
You can view the blog post by Phil Schiliro, Office of the Chief of Staff, HERE <http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/01/02/new-health-insurance-options-new-consumer-protections-new-year>
Phil Schiliro, Office of the Chief of Staff

You can view the blog post by Phil Schiliro, Office of the Chief of Staff, HERE http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/01/02/new-health-insurance-options-new-consumer-protections-new-year

Today is a new day for the millions of Americans who finally have the security that comes from quality, affordable health coverage. And those who already have health insurance will have better, more reliable coverage than ever before. Beginning on January 1, insured Americans won't be forced to put off a check-up or worry about going broke if they get sick.

While there is much more work to be done, beginning today, no family will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or asthma. Women can no longer be charged more than men for the same coverage. No American will have to worry that losing a job means you can't get health coverage. And small businesses may qualify for more financial help to pay for new affordable coverage options for their employees.

The challenges in our health care system were decades in the making and won't be solved overnight, but now more than 6 million Americans have been enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid coverage and are getting peace of mind, knowing that they can get the care they need without losing everything they've worked and saved for.

New Benefits and Consumer Protections Begin Today

· Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions: Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.

· New Insurance Options: Many previously uninsured Americans have new health insurance options through private health plans in the Marketplace or Medicaid in States that have opted to expand it. Nearly 6 in 10 of Americans who were uninsured could pay $100 or less per month for coverage.

· No More Annual Caps on Health Benefits: Millions of Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach an annual dollar limit on benefits.

· Comprehensive Coverage: Health plans in the individual and small group markets are now required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits – including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, and prescription drug coverage. As a result of these new protections, approximately 60 million people will gain expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or parity protections.

Millions of Americans Have Already Benefited from the Health Care Law

· Free Preventive Services: 71 million Americans on private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive service such as mammograms, birth control, and immunizations in 2011 and 2012. In the first eleven months of 2013, an additional 25 million people with traditional Medicare received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.

· New Insurance Options for Young Adults: Over three million young adults have gained health insurance because they can now stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

· No More Lifetime Caps on Health Benefits: 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime dollar limit on benefits.