March 27, 2012
“For decades consumers have struggled with rising insurance premiums, losing their coverage, difficulty understanding their insurance plans and so many other challenges. The Affordable Care Act is starting to turn that around and can make the health insurance market work for consumers,” said DeAnn Friedholm, Director of Health Reform for Consumers Union. “Consumers already can keep their children on their plans until age 26 and get access to proven preventative care with no out-of-pocket costs. Caps on benefits are disappearing and in 2014, you can’t be charged more or denied because of your health status. If the court strikes down the law, consumers won’t have access to tools like these and insurance companies won’t be held accountable for how they spend consumer dollars.”
Jamie Thompson of Harleysville, PA is just one example of millions of consumers who have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. His ten year old daughter, Lenora, has Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic lung disorder that is a lifelong struggle. For that reason, Lenora is considered to be medically disabled and receives Medicaid benefits as a secondary to the Thompson’s health insurance coverage. Unfortunately, Lenora will reach her maximum Medicaid benefits at age 18 and lose her Medicaid coverage.
“The treatments for Lenora’s Cystic Fibrosis will cost a fortune over my daughter’s lifetime. Most CF patients face the fact that they use up their lifetime cap of benefits in about 20 years,” said Jamie Thompson. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, her lifetime coverage will never run out, which comes as a huge relief to us. If we would have had to pay for her medical care we would be bankrupt in about six months.”
To help families like the Thompsons, Consumers Union is offering a new free guide designed to educate consumers on the Affordable Care Act and help them take advantage of the changes made by the law. The guide, available at www.ConsumersUnion.org, includes information on the changes already available to consumers, as well as new benefits coming in the future. The guide is also available in Spanish at www.ConsumerReportsenEspanol.org/salud.