Maloney Hails Implementation of Patient’s Bill of Rights

Sep 23, 2010
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney hailed new rules taking effect today under the Affordable Care Act signed by President Obama six months ago.

"These first reforms will start the process of holding insurance companies accountable, lowering overall health care costs for families, and guaranteeing more health care choices for New Yorkers and all Americans," Rep. Maloney said. "These are important changes that will make a real, practical difference and improve people's lives, starting today.”

Starting now, all preventive care will be covered at no out-of pocket cost; young adults will be permitted to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until their 26th birthday (unless they are covered at their workplace); and interactions between consumers and health insurance companies will be recast under provisions of the Patient's Bill of Rights.

Those provisions include:
-- Banning discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions;
-- Banning cancellation of coverage when you get sick;
-- Banning lifetime limits on coverage;
-- Allowing free choice of doctors within an insurer’s network; and
-- Allowing a right to appeal denials of coverage or treatment.

A new website, www.healthcare.gov, has been launched to make it easier to find coverage and explain all aspects of the reforms. The website is the first of its kind to put information and links to health insurance plans and other coverage options in one place, making it easier for consumers to learn about their insurance options. The site includes extensive, easy-to-understand information about patients’ rights, how to navigate the current insurance market, and how the Affordable Care Act will help them. A Spanish language version – www.CuidadodeSalud.gov– was launched on September 8, and additional pricing information will be added on October 1.

###

BACKGROUND:

Provisions of the Affordable Care Act that have already taken effect this year include:
-- A new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program to provide coverage for Americans who have been uninsured for six months because of a pre-existing condition;
-- Small-business tax credits that help companies and non-profits afford coverage for their employees;
-- The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which provides support for employers to cover early retirees who aren't old enough to be covered by Medicare; and
-- The beginning of the end of the prescription drug "donut hole" for seniors under Part D of Medicare.