Experts say the bills before Congress include significant consumer protections that would end denial or cancellation of coverage for medical reasons, from high cholesterol to cancer.
Insurers no longer could base premiums on a person's medical history, although they still could charge more to 50-year-olds than to people in their 20s.
People buying their own policies, and those working for small businesses, would gain many of the advantages employees of Fortune 500 companies now have. That would eliminate "job lock," the fear of leaving employment that provides medical benefits.
"It would bring insurance and insurabilty standards into line with medical practice and with the way people live their lives," said Dallas Salisbury, president of the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute. "When people are in the doctor's office, they're worried about that day's issue. You're not thinking, 'If I take this pill for my cholesterol, will it cause me to be denied insurance coverage in the future?'" [Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Consumer Protections Lost in Health Care Debate," AP via Yahoo News, 2009.08.09]
Of course, if you're a regular reader, you already know H.R. 3200 is great for your rights as a consumer and insurance buyer.