Virginia Organizing Campus Chapters Host Events Statewide to Help Educate Students and Local Residents on New Pro-Consumer Health Care Provisions Taking Effect Today
Virginia – On Thursday, September 23, students will gather across Virginia to celebrate the six-month milestone of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being signed into law. The students will be focusing on the provision that the new law extends coverage for young adults.
Starting Thursday, young adults can stay on a parent's plan until they turn 26. Educational events will be held at the College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, University of Richmond, University of Mary Washington and Tidewater Community College (Virginia Beach and Norfolk campuses).
Students like Rachael Johnson, age 22, a senior at Virginia Tech will now be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans until they are 26 years old. “My parents and I were relieved that I will be able to go back on their insurance. I aged off of my parents plan in June when I turned 22 and had to purchase a plan on the market, which gave me very little coverage for the money. Even though I have insurance, I still rely on the student health center for my care because my insurance covers very little,” said Johnson. “Now, I will be going back on my parents’ plan which will give me one less thing to worry about while pursuing my master’s, and possibly my PhD, in clinical psychology.”
Janie Williams graduated from the University of Virginia in May and found herself kicked off of her parents’ health insurance plan. Unable to find work in her field, she has been waiting tables at a job without affordable insurance. “I watched the health care debate particularly because I knew that I would be affected by the provision about young people staying on their parents’ insurance. I am thankful that the bill passed and that I am now back on my parents’ plan,” said Williams.
Lacey McClear of Richmond, like many college graduates, is waiting tables without insurance. She lost her insurance due to aging off her parents’ plan earlier this year. She went without insurance until going back on this week due to the new health care law. “I would not have realized how hard it is to get insurance until I was dropped from my parents’ plan. I looked for insurance and was told I would not qualify due to ‘pre-existing conditions,’” said McClear. “I have been living my life in fear of getting sick, until this week when thankfully, I can go back on my parents’ plan.”
The Stanley family of Virginia Beach has anxiously waited for the health care law to go into effect for their youngest daughter Amber to have coverage through their insurance. Amber is a social work student at University of North Carolina and was close to aging off her parents’ plan. Now she will be able to stay in school and not worry about health care coverage. Unfortunately the law was too late for Amber’s older sister Amy.
Amy Stanley, age 26, now finds herself uninsured and in deep medical debt because she aged off per parents’ plan and found herself without insurance. After having an abnormal pap smear which turned up pre-cancerous cells, she was turned down by many health insurance companies on the private market due to pre-existing conditions. “I could not afford the insurance that was available to me and now I just go without and hope for the best. Getting healthy was the easy part of my ordeal. Dealing with insurance denials and the medical bills is the hard part,” said Stanley.
Thursday’s events are part of a national celebration in which organizations throughout the country are hosting hundreds of events to promote the first wave of the law’s provisions taking effect that day, as well as to educate the public on the positive effect the law will have on them. These pro-consumer provisions will ensure American access to more secure and reliable coverage.
The following events are planned on Virginia campus chapters Thursday, September 23:
>College of William & Mary William and Mary Sadler Center 12:30pm-2:30pm Health Care Law Information Table
> University of Richmond Across Campus All Day Health Care Law Information Leafleting
>University of Virginia Outside Newcomb Dining Hall 12:00pm-2:00pm Health Care Law Information
> University of Mary Washington Campus walk between Ball Circle and Lee Hall 12:30pm-TBD Health Care Law Information Table
>Tidewater Community College-Norfolk Inside Student Administration Building 9:00am-12:00pm Health Care Law Information Table
>Tidewater Community College– Virginia Beach Inside Student Administration Building 9:00am-12:00pm Health Care Law Information Table
As of September 23, six major provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in, including consumer protections that end the worst of insurance company abuses. The new law puts an end to odious practices like dropping people because they got sick, putting annual and lifetime limits on how much coverage one can get from the insurance policy one rightly thought covered everything, and denying children coverage because they're sick.
Once the law is fully implemented, insurance companies will not be able to deny anyone coverage because they have an illness, or drop them when they do, or force them into bankruptcy because of caps on how much health care they'll pay for.
1. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Young adults can stay on a parent's plan until they turn 26. If someone wants to put an adult child on their plan, they'll be given an opportunity to do so during a special enrollment period. (This doesn't apply to young adults who already have health insurance through a job.)
2. Prohibits Excluding Coverage for Children With Pre-existing Conditions: Insurance plans can no longer refuse to cover children younger than 19 because they were born with or develop a serious medical condition. (A similar ban on coverage exclusions for adults goes into effect in 2014.)
3. Provides Free Preventive Care: All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.
4. Bans Insurance Companies from Dropping our Coverage When We Get Sick: In the past, insurance companies could search for an error, or other technical mistake, on a consumer’s application and use this error to deny payment for services when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal.
5. Empowers Consumers to Appeal Insurance Company Denials: The law provides consumers with a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurance company, and establishes an external review process.
6. Eliminates Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage: Under the new law, insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays which, begins putting and end to medical bankruptcies in America.
For more information on these and other upcoming benefits of the new health care law visit: http://www.