REPORT RELEASED TODAY FOUND NEARLY 1 IN 4 VIRGINIANS UNDER AGE 65 AFFECTED BY PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
For Immediate Release: July 26, 2012
Virginia Beach, VA: A report released by Families USA today found that nearly 1.7 million Virginians under age 65 have been diagnosed with pre-existing conditions that could have lead to denials from insurance companies without the new health reform law.
In effect, approximately 1 in 4 (24.7 percent) Virginians would be at risk of being denied coverage without the new law.
The new report provides county-level data detailing the number and percentage of Virginia’s population with pre-existing conditions.
Virginia Organizing Chairperson Sandra Cook responded, “This report shows us what we’ve known all along; pre-existing conditions were a major problem that the Affordable Care Act fixed. Many people were affected and had either been denied coverage for a pre-existing condition or risked being denied had we continued to let the insurance companies control health care based on profit and greed. The Affordable Care Act shifted the discussion back to the effect on real people, something Virginia Organizing has been working towards for four years.”
The report also confirms that as one ages, the risk of having a pre-existing condition increases.
Families USA gathered information in different race, age and income demographics and found the problem of pre-existing conditions reaches across racial, socio-economic, and age lines and affects all people.
Beginning in 2014, no insurance company will be able to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions—a fact that makes Virginia Organizing leader Beverly James very excited. “I have seen what insurance companies do to people with pre-existing conditions as a nurse practitioner, but I also experienced it first hand,” said James. “After each knee surgery I had, my insurance premiums increased. Thankfully, I was able to qualify for Medicare a few years after my surgeries, but so many other people aren’t so lucky.”
The report breaks down the numbers by various areas of the Commonwealth and examines what areas were most at risk. The proportion of individuals affected by pre-existing conditions ranges from 21.5 percent in Manassas Park, Manassas, and Prince William County to as high as 29.7 percent in Galax (city), Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Grayson, Tazewell, and Wythe counties.
The full report, with county-level data, can be found online at http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/publications/reports/health-reform/worry-no-more-states.html.
Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.