The ‘‘Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act’’ Doesn’t Actually Ensure Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions
More specifically, the Senate GOP have introduced a bill to “protect” coverage options for those with pre-existing conditions in the event that an ongoing lawsuit lead by GOP leadership wins (and subsequently jeopardizes the coverage for millions with pre-existing conditions).
Unfortunately, the self-titled “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act” does not actually protect the coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
The bill would bar insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, but it doesn’t require insurers to actually cover healthcare related to the pre-existing condition… ever.
So for example an insurer would have to offer you insurance if you had cancer, but could exclude coverage for cancer in the plan they offered. This of course would mean you didn’t actually have coverage for your pre-existing condition.
In short, although the bill does ensure continuous coverage (meaning once you have coverage you can’t be dropped again for any reason other than non-payment) and does ensure one person can’t be charged more than another due to a condition, the bill allows insurers to avoid covering the conditions of those with pre-existing conditions.
Meaning, the bill won’t actually protect individuals with pre-existing conditions for their immediate health needs and therefore the bill doesn’t do what the title says it does.
The Back Story
As you may have heard, a coalition of twenty state are suing the Federal Government to end the mandate to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). During the course of this lawsuit the Trump Administration refused to defend the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions, threatening coverage for millions. Since that lawsuit may result in the pre-existing condition protections under the ACA being illegal, the GOP decided to create a fix. Of course as we noted above, the fix they created doesn’t actually protect pre-existing conditions.