The requirement that insurers cover individuals regardless of health status is looking better in theory than in practice.
By Sophie Novack
Insurance companies may have found a way to skirt one of Obamacare’s most popular promises: equal access to insurance coverage for patients with preexisting conditions.
The health care law requires insurers to cover everyone, regardless of their health. It also bans subtler forms of discrimination, such as charging higher premiums, that would have the practical effect of making health insurance unavailable to sick people.
They’re some of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions—and have been key to Democrats’ defense of the law.
But patient advocates say the reality on the ground isn’t matching the ACA’s intent. They say insurance companies are explicitly breaking the law, as well as undermining its intent, with policies that put life-saving treatments out of reach for many of the patients who need them most.
And, they say, current regulations are letting them get away with it.