President Obama on the consumer protection agenda…

As a health care consumer advocacy group, it’s always a good thing when the President spends a day focusing on the consumer protections in health reform:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

Here’s how the White House framed health reform today, in terms of providing security for consumers, especially from the worst abuses of insurers:

The Security You Get from Health Insurance Reform:

* No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions
Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

* No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays
Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care
Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

* No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill
Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

* No Gender Discrimination
Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage
Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

* Extended Coverage for Young Adults
Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal
Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.

Many of these concepts are, or have been, bills here in California, including coverage for young adults dependents, to capping out-of-pocket expenses, to prohibiting gender discrimination.

At a Health Access California board meeting last week, it was remarked how much of our legislative agenda would be resolved if the health reform in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3200, was passed. And what’s more remarkable is how most of these elements are the accepted consensus of health reform, rather than the controversial items.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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