Access to Health Care
Health Reform Law Ends the "Just Because You Have Diabetes" Excuse
The federal health care reform legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care & Education Affordability Act of 2010) which became law in March 2010, includes many new tools in the fight to stop diabetes.
Once the provisions of the law are fully in place, people with diabetes can no longer be denied insurance or forced to pay more for coverage simply because they have diabetes. Insurance companies will not be allowed to limit benefits or drop coverage when a person needs health care most. In sum, a diagnosis of diabetes will no longer be a lawful reason to deny health care, ending the current system that sanctions such discrimination.
Throughout the health care reform debate, the American Diabetes Association fought hard to ensure that reform benefited the nearly 26 million people with diabetes and the 79 more with prediabetes. While the new laws are not perfect, they will protect people with diabetes in fundamental ways.
Read How Health Reform is Helping People with Diabetes and Questions and Answers about Health Reform and Diabetes (also available in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese) for more information on how the law will help people with and at-risk for diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association continues to advocate diligently to ensure that the new health reform law is implemented in a way that meet the needs of people living with, and at risk for, diabetes. One provision of the law currently being challenged in courts is the requirement that individuals have health insurance coverage beginning in 2014. The American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network created a report that explains why the requirement that individuals have minimum health insurance coverage is necessary for maintaining the other insurance protections in the Affordable Care Act. A list of references for the report is located at here.
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We encourage state legislators to oppose efforts to eliminate or reduce diabetes coverage.
Due to the major role that both Medicaid and Medicare play in the provision of health care for people with, and at risk for diabetes, we oppose cuts that may result in the weakening of diabetes coverage.
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