Health Insurance Reform Will Provide Meaningful Coverage for Florida Families and Seniors
Nov 5, 2009 -
Nearly 2.3 million Tampa Bay area residents with health insurance will see improved employer-based health care coverage under the House version of the reform legislation, which could be voted on as early as Saturday. “For families with health insurance, health reform will provide coverage you can count on. All Americans will have affordable options even if you change your job or if your employer does not offer health insurance,” U.S. Representative Kathy Castor said.
Vital consumer protections will take effect immediately. For example, families will not have to worry about insurance companies cancelling their coverage because someone in the family gets sick or is diagnosed with cancer or another illness.
Health insurance companies will no longer be able to bar you from insurance just because you had cancer that is remission or any other pre-existing condition. The reform measure also ensures our neighbors are not forced to go bankrupt when serious illness strikes.
“This is meaningful reform for Tampa Bay area families,” Castor said. “They have been doing everything right in paying their premiums and co-pays even as those costs have risen astronomically.”
Older Tampa Bay area residents on Medicare also will see immediate improvements. Effective January 1, 2010, more than 900,000 seniors in the Tampa Bay area will benefit as the landmark health bill begins to close the “doughnut hole” for Medicare Part D prescriptions. The reform measure also includes protections for seniors added by Castor to penalize unscrupulous practices by private Medicare insurance sales agents. Protections such as these for seniors are among the reasons the AARP announced today its endorsement of the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, also endorses the bill.
“Our historic legislation extends the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least five years,” Castor said. “And our seniors will have greater stability as we encourage better primary care and checkups and ensure the best doctors stay in Medicare to serve our parents and grandparents.”
Another new provision that will deliver a huge sigh of relief from parents and greater stability for families is the new requirements for health insurance companies to cover children under the parents’ policy through the child’s 27th birthday. “Over the past few months, many parents across Tampa Bay have requested this change and I am proud that the reform bill can deliver,” Castor said.
Castor serves on the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.