National Association of Chronic Disease Directors Applaud Enforcement of Ban on Pre-existing Conditions Discrimination

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NACDD stands in support of the Obama administration's move toward implementing the Affordable Care Act's ban on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions

David P. Hoffman M.Ed. C.C.E.

We know a huge percentage of our human and financial health care costs relate to chronic disease

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, which fights on the front lines of chronic disease prevention and control, strongly supports the Obama administration's move to implement provisions in the health care law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Affordable Care Act is building a health insurance market that works for consumers,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the health care law, no one will be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.”

NACDD Policy Committee Chair, David Hoffman, added, "These important aspects of the ACA are great steps forward for people with or at risk for chronic diseases. We know a huge percentage of our human and financial health care costs relate to chronic disease, and any progress we can make in this area is good for the public health and the bottom line".

The Obama administration issued:

· A proposed rule that, beginning in 2014, prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals because of a pre-existing or chronic condition. Under the rule, insurance companies would be allowed to vary premiums within limits, only based on age, tobacco use, family size, and geography. Health insurance companies would be prohibited from denying coverage to any American because of a pre-existing condition or from charging higher premiums to certain enrollees because of their current or past health problems, gender, occupation, and small employer size or industry. The rule would ensure that people for whom coverage would otherwise be unaffordable, and young adults, have access to a catastrophic coverage plan in the individual market.

· A proposed rule outlining policies and standards for coverage of essential health benefits, while giving states more flexibility to implement the Affordable Care Act. Essential health benefits are a core set of benefits that would give consumers a consistent way to compare health plans in the individual and small group markets.

· A proposed rule implementing and expanding employment-based wellness programs to promote health and help control health care spending, while ensuring that individuals are protected from unfair underwriting practices that could otherwise reduce benefits based on health status.

NACDD is a member-driven, national association representing over 3,000 state and territorial health department employees working in chronic disease and associated risk factors. To learn more about the work of NACDD, visit us at http://www.chronicdisease.org

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