HEALTH CARE UPDATES
Strong protections for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones take affect today, six months after the signing of the Affordable Care Act into law. These critical provisions are helping to transform our current ‘sick care’ system into one that focuses on people getting and staying well. Here are the changes you will see:
- No lifetime dollar caps on coverage
- Tightly restricted annual dollar limits on coverage
- In all new plans, preventive coverage is guaranteed and individuals will see no out-of-pocket costs for proven preventive services such as screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer
- Health plans can no longer drop patients from coverage when they get sick
- Dependent children can remain on their parent’s insurance policy until age 26
- Children up to age 19 with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, cannot be denied coverage
We’re working hard at ACS CAN to ensure that the Affordable Care Act is implemented as strongly as possible for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. For more information, please read “How the Affordable Care Act is Helping People with Cancer”
How will your family benefit from these patient protections?
The media is buzzing today with stories about the six-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and how consumers, insurers and lawmakers are reacting. But, as key provisions that will directly benefit cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones start to take effect today, the best evidence of the effects of this law are through the direct accounts of those who are already seeing barriers to care torn down.. Read the story of the Brainards, a husband and wife from Palestine, West Virginia, who thought a looming limit on their lifetime benefit coverage would prohibit husband Carl from getting the care he needed for his cancer diagnosis. In their own words, they describe their relief to find out the Affordable Care Act won’t make them choose between Carl’s life and their lifesavings.
The Kaiser Family Foundation boils down the new health law in an easy-to-understand cartoon video. The 9-minute spot explains the problems with the current health care system, the changes that are happening now, and the big changes coming in the future.
I was so excited and honored to be included in the event yesterday at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. to highlight the aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will improve access to prevention services. On a personal level, to be able to meet First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden was a thrill. The few moments they spoke with my husband Kevin and me will be cherished memories. I was so impressed with their warmth and graciousness.
As a cancer survivor, I felt privileged to be present as the Affordable Care Act regulations related to prevention and screening were promoted by HHS Secretary Sebelius, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden. I know first-hand what a difference regular cancer screenings make in finding cancer when it is relatively early and easier to treat effectively. I applaud the provisions that remove barriers to cancer screenings and other preventive services.
Yesterday, my 12-year-old daughter, Taylor, and I had an amazing experience. We were able to meet and speak directly to President Obama. We were able to thank him for his relentless efforts to pass health care reform for families like ours who faced holes in the broken health care system. It is so rewarding to know that just over a year ago, we were here with other cancer patients and survivors, ACS CAN volunteers all, lobbying on Capitol Hill for this law and now it is a reality. A huge weight has been lifted from our family, knowing insurance companies can’t impose lifetime limits on benefits anymore. We are an extremely blessed family and happy that our story could help make a difference in the lives of others. Yesterday was a day we will never forget. Going to the White House, meeting and introducing the President and celebrating with our friends at ACS CAN made this an extraordinary day. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen. Taylor can not stop smiling and isn’t going to let her autograph from President Obama leave her sight. Blessings to all and remember Taylor’s motto….”You can get through anything.” Check out the White House Blog, that features a picture of Taylor…documenting the event. White House blog