Posts Tagged ‘Pre-existing Conditions’

Health Care and You- 2011 Affordable Care Act Recap Web Chat

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

It has been a busy year for the health care law and its implementation. Join the Health Care and You Coalition on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for an interactive chat to review the parts of the law that have taken effect, including changes in Medicare prescription drug coverage, coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and new requirements on how insurers spend your health care dollars.

The health care law will continue to be rolled out over the next few years, so make sure you are staying up to date on what it means for you by joining the chat!  Send in your questions now and then participate on 11/7 by visiting HealthCareandYou.org

The American Heart Association is a proud member of Health Care and You, a coalition aimed at providing the public with easy-to-understand information about the health care law. 

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NC Advocates Share Their Story to Mark the 1-Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Today, Kay LaVelle and Jill Morin, AHA advocates and Go Red for Women spokespersons from North Carolina, participated in a news conference at the State Legislature about the Affordable Care Act. Today’s event was organized by Rep. Verla Insko and focused on the provisions within the new law that help ensure women are able to access and afford the quality health care they need.

Kay and her daughter Jill told their moving story as heart survivors and the resulting concerns about their health insurance coverage. As small business owners, struggling to make ends meet in the tough economy, Kay and Jill have worried about how they would find coverage given their pre-existing conditions, if they lost their business. However, thanks to the protections in the new law, they now have the peace of mind that they would have coverage options.

Currently, those who have been uninsured for 6 months or more and have pre-existing conditions may be eligible for a new insurance program, called Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans. These plans are intended to provide transitional coverage to those who are currently uninsured until January 2014, when additional insurance options and assistance with paying premiums will be made available through state-based health insurance marketplaces called exchanges.

For more information, visit http://www.pcip.gov/ or http://www.healthcare.gov/.

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Affordable Care Act Programs Every Patient Should Know About

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Did you know that March 23rd marks the 1-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law? Within 365 short days, critical patient protections have been implemented, making health care more affordable and accessible to many Americans.

However, despite the progress that has been made, many patients still don’t know about all of the options that may be available to them to ensure they have the coverage they need. Here are two important programs every heart disease and stroke patient should know about:

Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans: If you or a loved has a pre-existing condition, like heart disease or stroke, and been without health insurance coverage for at least six months, then you may be eligible for a new insurance program, called Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, that was created by the Affordable Care Act.

This program is available for children and adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who have been locked out of the health insurance market because of a pre-existing condition. However, the exact terms and conditions of the coverage will vary depending on which state you live in.Although these new plans may not be a feasible option for everyone, they could be a more affordable insurance option for individuals who’ve had difficulty getting coverage in the individual insurance market because of their medical condition. In most states, the monthly premium for the standard option plan ranges from about $116 to $626.

These plans are intended to provide transitional coverage to those who are currently uninsured until January 2014, when additional insurance options and assistance with paying premiums will be made available through state-based health insurance marketplaces called exchanges.

For information about how to apply, go to http://www.pcip.gov/ or call 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604).

Consumer Assistance Programs: Thirty states have received funding under the Affordable Care Act to create Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs), which provide assistance to individuals experiencing difficulties with their health insurance. For instance, CAPs will help consumers who need help filing complaints or appeals with their insurance companies, answer questions about their rights and responsibilities with respect to insurance coverage, or help individuals sign up for coverage.

To find the CAP program in your state or other resources that may be helpful, please visit www.healthcare.gov/consumerhelp.

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Are you ready for September 23rd?

Monday, September 20th, 2010

September 23rd marks the six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law- and for the 81 million Americans living with heart disease or stroke, and the millions more at risk, it is definitely a date to take note of. That’s because a number of new health care protections, which will help improve patients’ access to affordable care, will take effect that day.

Do you know what this means for you?

If not, you’re not alone. That’s why the American Heart Association is here as a resource for patients and their families. As an informed consumer, it is critical for you to understand what’s changing and what options are available to you in order to access and afford the quality care you need and deserve.

By visiting our website, www.heartsforhealthcare.org, you will find:

1. Information about the patients protections taking effect this week, such as:

- Eliminating lifetime caps on coverage and restricting annual limits

- Prohibiting coverage denials to children based on pre-existing conditions

- Allowing young adults (under age 26) to remain covered under their parent’s plan

- Providing preventative services for free under new health plans (and in Medicare starting January 1)

- Prohibiting insurance companies from rescinding coverage if you get sick

2. A series of short videos featuring AHA experts who answer your fellow volunteers’ questions about the health care law and the new protections mentioned above.

3. Links to other resources to provide you with additional information and tools to learn about the protections and options available to you.

The American Heart Association has long recognized that ensuring patients have access to the care they need is critical to our mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. We hope you will seek out the information you need to learn about how the new law will affect you, so you can take full advantage of these new consumer provisions and patient protections.

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We Want to Hear Your Story!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

With implementation of the new health care law underway, making health care coverage more accessible and affordable to millions of Americans, we want to hear your health care story!
By sharing your personal story about the new health care reforms that have benefitted you or your family, you can help educate your fellow heart disease and stroke patients about the new coverage options and protections that may be available to them as well.

  • Do you have a child with a pre-existing condition who is now eligible for coverage?
  • Have you encountered problems with lifetime caps in the past- which are now prohibited?
  • Are you a young adult (under 26 years old) who can now stay covered under your parent’s plan?
  • Have you put off preventive care in the past because you couldn’t afford it?
  • Are you or someone you know enrolled in the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan?
  • Are you a senior who has recently received a rebate check to make it easier to purchase prescription drugs?
  • Have you had your insurance policy cancelled after you got sick, which is now prohibited?

If you fit any of the profiles above, let us know! Your story won’t be used without your consent, but as opportunities to share patient stories come up, whether it is on the web, through the media, or at events, we’ll be able to reach out to you to discuss your interest in helping further.

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New Health Insurance Resources Launch July 1st

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Have you or a loved one had a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, or other pre-existing medical condition and been without health insurance coverage for at least six months? If so, you may be eligible for a new insurance program, called Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, that was created by the new health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, and begins in many states starting July 1st. The exact terms and conditions of the coverage will vary depending on which state you live in. Enrollment in about half the states begins July 1st, with the remaining states beginning enrolling people in their plans later this summer.www.healthcare.gov. The new site is aimed at helping consumers navigate the maze of health care coverage options, both private and public, and better understand what the new health reform law means for them.

Although these new plans may not be a feasible option for everyone, they could be a more affordable insurance option for individuals who’ve had difficulty getting coverage in the individual insurance market because of their medical condition. These plans are intended to provide transitional coverage to those who are currently uninsured until January 2014, when additional insurance options and assistance with paying premiums will be made available through state-based health insurance marketplaces called exchanges.

To help you learn more about these new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans or other insurance options that may be available to you, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new website,

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What Does Health Care Reform Mean for Heart Disease and Stroke Patients?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Completion of Congress’ action on the health care reform bill brings with it important improvements to the health care system that the American Heart Association advocated for to help make health care coverage more affordable and accessible, improve the quality of care, and place a greater emphasis on prevention and wellness.
With the passage of reform, patients with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage (beginning this year for kids and in 2014 for adults), lifetime caps placed on coverage will be eliminated and annual caps will be curtailed starting this year, and preventive care will now be available with no co-pays or deductibles for seniors and consumers in new health insurance plans. Additionally, families will be able to make healthier choices about the meals they select at most restaurants because of the calorie information that will be added to menus. The new law also includes incentives to improve the quality of care patients receive, by rewarding value over volume and improving coordination and teamwork among health care professionals. To learn more about what reform means to patients with heart disease and stroke, please visit our website at www.americanheart.org/accesstocare.
While the new law is not perfect, the American Heart Association supported passage of the final package because it will make significant progress towards improving affordability and accessibility of care for patients and their families. The status quo is simply untenable for too many Americans and unsustainable for all of us.
Over the upcoming months and likely years, the American Heart Association will work with Congress, the Administration and our patient advocacy partners to monitor the implementation of these provisions and to build upon this progress as we continue to advocate to ensure the health care system meets the needs of all heart disease and stroke patients.
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What the Senate Health Care Legislation Means for Patients

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

The American Heart Association supports those specific provisions in the Senate’s health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that make health care coverage more accessible, affordable and adequate for the 80 million Americans living with heart disease and stroke, including:

  • Prohibiting insurance companies from denying or dropping coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition;
  • Prohibiting insurance companies from charging women and those with pre-existing conditions higher premiums and limits the amount more that insurance companies can charge older Americans for their coverage;
  • Abolishing lifetime caps and unreasonable annual limits in insurance coverage;
  • Protecting families from medical bankruptcy by limiting out-of-pocket costs to $5,800 for an individual or $11,600 for a family. Low and moderate-income families would have lower caps on the amount they would have to spend for their out-of-pocket costs;
  • Requiring that essential categories of services be covered, including hospital and doctors visits, emergency care, preventive services, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative care;Requiring all private health plans and Medicare to cover preventive services with no deductible or other cost-sharing;
  • Requiring that health plan networks include an adequate number and type of providers; and
  • Requiring that consumers be given uniform, understandable information about their health plan coverage, costs, and quality.

The AHA believes that the many patient-centered provisions of the Senate legislation are a significant step towards meaningful health reform and encourages all Senators to support the key procedural votes needed to allow the Senate to pass its bill so progress can continue.

Tell your Senators to put patients first by voting “YES” on the three critical upcoming procedural votes by visiting http://www.heartsforhealthcare.org/ today!

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