Americans Are Gaining First-Time Access to Health Care Coverage

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Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans with preexisting conditions now have access to health care coverage after multiple open enrollment periods for insurance coverage. The ban on denials and preexisting condition exclusions is giving many Americans first-time access to health care coverage. However, insurers are instituting discriminatory policies by making medications for those with chronic health conditions unaffordable. For example, insurers are engaging in adverse tiering, whereby they place all drugs used to treat HIV on the highest cost-sharing tiers. This has a deeply rooted financial impact on consumers, who are either forced to pay extremely high prices for necessary medications or get sicker until they qualify for the drugs they need. A standard broadly defining discrimination in health care would send a strong message to insurers that discrimination will not be tolerated, whether in the form of restricting access to necessary medications or discouraging enrollment by increasing costs. To read more on this topic, head over to the Health Affairs Blog here.

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