Thursday, July 26, 2012

Protection for pre-existing conditions

Nearly 2.1 million North Carolininas, under 65, have been diagnosed with pre-existing medical conditions that could have led to denial of insurance coverage, prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to Families USA, a Washington-based advocacy group.

The group published a report Thursday, “Worry No More,” showing the extent of pre-existing medical conditions in individual states and counties.

In North Carolina, more than 25 percent of non-elderly residents would be at risk of being denied coverage without health reform, the report said. The risk increases with age. More than 38 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have a pre-existing condition that could lead to denial of coverage. And nearly half of those aged 55 to 64 have a pre-existing condition.

In Mecklenburg County, 23.5 percent of residents have been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition. The range by county is from 22.9 percent in Onslow County to 30 percent in Robeson County.

Other Charlotte-area counties and their numbers are: Gaston and Lincoln, 27.2 percent; Rowan 26.8 percent; Cabarrus, 24.6 percent; Union, 23.8 percent; Iredell, 25.8 percent.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers were generally free to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Under the act, insurers are now prohibited from refusing to insure children with pre-existing medical conditions. The law expands that prohibition to adults in 2014.

People of all races and income groups are represented in the Families USA analysis. But the report says that, because people with low incomes and racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately uninsured and under-insured, they are likely to be undercounted.


Anonymous said...

So, should hospitals set up insurance kiosks in the ER waiting rooms?

"Uninsured? Just had a stroke? It's never too late. Buy your health insurance NOW before the bills start coming in!!!"

mbelue said...

Insurers are in business to WRITE business - not deny it.

Anonymous said...

So do they pay more? If not, who pays the difference?

Anonymous said...

Check the Board Members of "Families USA" - one pops out,

L. Toni Lewis, M.D.

Thaaaaat's not sketchy

Anonymous said...

L. Toni Lewis, M.D.

Board Member Families USA

Sketchy much?

Anonymous said...

It is important that everyone have access to healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies are in the business of "writing business", but not if it's going to cost them more money. If insurance companies never denied anyone, then we would not be debating the need for comprehensive healthcare reform in this country. So lets be honest about that. I hope over time everyone will have insurance coverage and no longer have to die or put off a much needed medical procedure simply because they don't have insurance or cannot afford it. This is not a conservative or liberal issue but instead a human issue.

Anonymous said...

"Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers were generally free to deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Under the act, insurers are now prohibited from refusing to insure for that reason."

Not until 2014

Anonymous said...

Yes, currently, if you buy your own insurance and are able to get insurance coverage- presumably because you have not gone 61 days without coverage- you are charged A LOT more than the person that fits your same demographic to the T minus the pre-existing condition. AND if you have a disease like I do- multiple sclerosis- most life insurance companies STILL rate you and deny you coverage like it was 1980 and there were no medicines for the illness and no prospect that your life won't be compromised- which most people with MS live as long or longer than most of you will today.

Shame on those of you who try to make this a political issue! This is a human issue and when most of us with these pre-exsting conditions did NOTHING to have them in the first place, why should we then be treated differently than anyone else. Insurance companies aren't here to do us any favors where they don;t profit mightily for it,and that includes who they write policies for. If this wasn't the case we wouldn't need a law telling them they can no longer do it. And as a small business owner who provides health insurance, I can tell you paying for my unfortunate diagnosis has crippled what I can do within my business because of the premiums I pay for that diagnosis. And why am I paying so much? Simply because of the medicine as I rarely go to the doctor year.

Anonymous said...

A very important point which I left out is this: if I did not have my own business ( and there are states that, unless they have changed recently, still would not allow me to have insurance because my business doesn't have the required number of 15 or 20 employees) I would not have health insurance. Oh in the world of doing just enough to say they do it, BCBSNC would charge me about $1500/month for an individual policy that is only worth saying I have health insurance but would give me VERY little in return as far as real world coverage and it wouldn't pay for the medicine that keeps my MS from progressing, either. Who can really afford that and how is that fair?

christine said...

It's good to hear that they already accept health insurance for kids with pre-existing conditions. At their young age, a lot could still happen to them and this is why they should be approved of the health insurance while they are still young.

Unknown said...

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Lettie Piontkowski

Chris from said...

Everyone should certainly have equal access to comprehensive, affordable and quality healthcare regardless of pre-existing conditions, be it physical or mental illness. Quality healthcare is a fundamental right and not just a privilege. Looking forward to 2014 when the Affordable Care Act will fully go into effect!