September 23, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Rep. Susan Davis: Patients’ Bill of Rights to Take Effect Today
Washington — Congresswoman Susan Davis announced today that several important consumer protection features of health reform are set to go into effect today. Better known as the Patients’ Bill of Rights, these provisions seek to end insurance company abuses, and put consumers and their doctors back in control of their own care.
“The Patients’ Bill of Rights will change the insurance industry’s most egregious practices,” said Davis. “Millions of Americans who want health insurance but have been denied for one reason or another will be able finally be able to get it. These provisions finally put the American people back in control of their health and safety.”
For plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010, all privately-insured Americans now have the following protections:
Health coverage cannot be arbitrarily cancelled if you become sick.
Children cannot be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
Young people up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plan.
Large health insurance companies cannot put a lifetime limit on health coverage.
Health plans’ annual limits are phased out over three years.
Beginning Thursday, consumers purchasing new plans will have the following additional protections:
Patients can choose their own primary care doctor from their health plan’s provider network or see an OB-GYN doctor without needing a referral from another doctor.
Preventive services will be available without deductable or co-payments.
Patients have the right to both an internal and external appeal of insurers’ coverage decisions.
Patients have the right to access out-of-network emergency room care at in-network cost-sharing rates.