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Gov Inslee Signs Bill that Protects the ACA Health Care Insurance Practices

(Picture by State of WA Capital)

Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed a bill that will

reinforce significant number of consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, including the much-discussed right that no person will be denied health coverage because they have a pre-existing medical condition.

“This bill assures Washingtonians that regardless of what happens in D.C., we’re protecting your access to care here at home,” Inslee said. “This means you can’t be denied insurance after surviving cancer, it means you can’t be forced into bankruptcy because of a lifetime cap, and it means you can’t be forced to pay for basic and essential health benefits such as contraception and mammograms.”

Governor Inslee realesed a statement in March against the Trump administration’s push to repeal healthcare for millions of Americans. Inslee and Kreidler warn that although this new law helps Washington consumers, the state still needs ACA protections on the federal level. 800,000 people who have health care coverage in Washington are still at risk if the ACA is repealed because it would eliminate Medicaid expansion and low-income subsidies.

The new law addresses unfair practices against consumers, and protects a variety of benefits connected to private health insurance coverage offered in Washington. Among other things, the law includes a requirement that the state offers and explains health plans to any resident regardless of health status. The law also continues open enrollment periods, adds limitations to coverage cancellations, prohibits annual or lifetime limits as well as waiting periods and maintains coverage of the 10 essential health benefits introduced in the Affordable Care Act. This bill is one of several that legislators are passing this session to address consumer issues such as protecting consumers’ rights, improving affordability and expanding access to services and increasing transparency and quality.

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