Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Momentum Building on Sebelius' Challenge to Insurers to Ban Rescission Before Law Takes Effect in September

More insurers are heeding Secretary Sebelius' call to voluntarily implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act before the law requires them to do so.

Today, UnitedHealthcare announced they will join with other insurers and stop using rescissions - the practice of dropping patients' health coverage. This announcement follows a letter that Secretary Sebelius sent to the nation's largest insurer, WellPoint, after seeing reports that they were targeting women with breast cancer with the goal of canceling their coverage. WellPoint announced yesterday they would stop the practice, and Secretary Sebelius urged other insurers to do the same.

"The days when insurers can drop coverage when patients get sick are coming to an end but insurers don't need to wait to do the right thing," said Secretary Sebelius. "Americans need to be secure in knowing that their health coverage will be there when they need it most. That is why we are working hard to get the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to families everywhere as quickly as possible."

The Affordable Care Act will ban rescissions, except in cases of intentional misrepresentation of fact or fraud, beginning September 23, but Secretary Sebelius continues to urge insurers not to wait until the fall to do the right thing.

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