Healthcare in the U.S. was, for many years, beyond the reach of certain groups of people. Those who were not granted healthcare through employment, for example, often couldn’t afford to pay the high cost of a private insurance plan on their own. There were even some who were offered healthcare via a job that still couldn’t foot the bill. Another group that suffered from the inability to gain health insurance coverage was people with pre-existing conditions. Those coping with chronic illness, a history of certain diseases, or other conditions that fit this category were often charged outrageous prices for coverage or denied altogether. In short, a vast number of underserved and needy individuals found themselves unable to obtain even the most basic healthcare coverage under the old system.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) sought to change that very situation, ensuring that the groups most in need of health coverage would be able to receive it. This included low-income individuals and families, pregnant women, children, the elderly, and of course, those with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, pre-existing conditions were eliminated, which is to say that anyone seeking health insurance could no longer be denied coverage, denied care, or charged more due to a pre-existing condition. Considering that nearly half of all Americans have some kind of health condition that qualifies as a pre-existing condition, this means a lot of people that were previously charged more or denied coverage now have access to affordable treatment under Obamacare.
It doesn’t matter if you are currently ill, you live with a chronic illness, or you have suffered pre-existing conditions in the past. Under Obamacare you simply cannot be discriminated against when it comes to obtaining affordable health coverage. Further, your benefits cannot be limited. It’s important to understand, however, that while insurance companies can no longer deny coverage, overcharge, or limit benefits for those with pre-existing conditions, there is one notable exception to the rule. If you have elected to remain with a private insurance policy that you had before the implementation of Obamacare, a policy that has been “grandfathered” in, there is still a chance you could be denied coverage.
If, for example, you had cancer in the past and you suffer a recurrence, your private, individual insurance policy (which is to say, a plan that you’ve had since before Obamacare) could elect to deny coverage for the cost of treatment, even though they sold you insurance knowing about your pre-existing condition. If you think something like this is possible, your best bet is to give up your old insurance policy and sign up for new coverage through Obamacare. It’s likely that you can get the same coverage, perhaps at less cost, and never again have to worry that you won’t receive the health benefits you’re paying for.
Obamacare was designed to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare options, and it is especially targeted at underserved groups such as those with pre-existing conditions. If you happen to find yourself in this situation and you’re worried that your old insurance policy won’t provide you with the benefits you need, do not hesitate to sign up for a health insurance plan under Obamacare.
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