Concord – As a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, up to 590,000 people with pre-existing conditions in New Hampshire and 129 million nationwide have the health and economic security of affordable health coverage. But that security could be eliminated, and hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters could be denied health coverage or charged higher premiums just because of their health status when they shop in the individual market, under the Republican repeal plan.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies in the individual and small group markets could deny coverage, charge higher premiums, and/or limit benefits to individuals based on pre-existing conditions.
Since 2010, up to 69,000 children in New Hampshire, and 17 million across the country, with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health. Beginning in January 2014, this protection extends to up to more than 500,000 Granite State adults, too.
Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal the health care reform law more than 40 times. Republicans Kelly Ayotte, Frank Guinta, Gary Lambert and Marilinda Garcia support their dangerous efforts. For people in New Hampshire, complete repeal would mean insurance companies could deny health coverage or charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies will also no longer be able to charge higher premiums based on health status or history.
A “pre-existing condition” could be as common a health condition as heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure. Anything that existed before someone applied for or enrolls in a new health policy could be grounds for denied coverage or prohibitively higher costs..