This post was written by Valerie Arkoosh, MD, MPH, President of the National Physicians Alliance.
This post is written by Dr. Chris Lillis, and is cross-posted on the Doctor's for America Blog, Progress Notes.
Reproductive care is basic health care for women—we need it on a regular basis to keep ourselves healthy. During the reproductive years, even a woman without any health problems may visit an obstetric or gynecologic (OB-GYN) care provider more than 50 times!
It has been six months since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed. We have made considerable progress with changes to the health insurance system. Elimination of lifetime and annual limits is a significant change and huge victory for individuals living with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, chronic conditions and costly medical and catastrophic illnesses.
Finding the right health care professional to provide primary care can be a challenge—we’re all looking for the right balance of expertise, compassion, communication skills, and availability. So no one likes it when an insurance company steps in to limit our choice when it comes to picking an available primary care provider. One of the new protections added by the Affordable Care Act, and going into effect for new plans this month, aims to ensure choice of providers—and it includes special safeguards for children.
In 2006 a Southern California couple who had purchased health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross had their coverage rescinded after using their benefits to cover a cardiac procedure. Several months after the procedure, Blue Cross retroactively canceled the couple’s coverage and left them with a six-figure medical bill. When consumers get sick, insurers sometimes try to avoid having to pay for their care through rescissions--the process of yanking coverage away, right when patients need it most, as though they were never covered at all.
A man falls off the roof while cleaning the gutters. His wife, panic-stricken, hops in the car and speeds down the highway to get him medical attention as quickly as possible while her husband writhes in pain. She thinks his arm is broken, but he also hit his head, so she’s worried about further injuries. The closest hospital is ten minutes away, so she heads there.
What's the big deal about September 23? Well, it's the day that the dependent coverage provision - young adults being able to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26 - becomes law. It's the day that approximately 2 million young Americans will gain the security and peace of mind that comes with getting covered.
As someone who has been filing insurance appeals on behalf of consumers for fifteen years, I am nothing short of thrilled by the new rules governing consumers’ rights to appeal adverse decisions by insurance companies.
Poll after poll after poll has shown that Americans really do like specific provisions of the health care bill. For example, most people agree that a child with asthma should be not denied health insurance, simply because they’ve been born with the chronic condition. And most parents agree that raising the age of dependent coverage to 26 will help recent graduates entering a stagnant job market keep their insurance as they send out resumes.