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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 8, 2017 02:05 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting Health Insurance Companies from Denying or Excluding Coverage based on Preexisting Conditions
 
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation that prohibits health insurance companies from using an individual’s preexisting medical conditions to deny or exclude coverage under a health insurance policy.

There has been significant chatter out of Washington D.C. in recent weeks regarding the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The version of the bill that passed out of the United States House of Representatives would dismantle many of the consumer protections contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). One of the biggest concerns raised with the AHCA is a provision that would allow states to opt-out of the federal law that prohibits health insurance companies from denying or excluding coverage based on an individual’s preexisting medical conditions. The prohibition on the use of preexisting medical conditions was a hard-fought policy victory that brought piece of mind to millions of Americans suffering from prior or chronic medical conditions. Allowing states to opt-out of the federal prohibition will cause chaos and uncertainty for our constituents with prior health issues.

While there is still a chance that the state opt-out provision will not become law, I believe we in the General Assembly need to be proactive and ensure that the Commonwealth will not opt-out if the AHCA is enacted. My legislation would accomplish this by amending the Insurance Company Law to prohibit health insurance companies from denying or excluding coverage based on an individual’s preexisting medical conditions.

Please join me in protecting our constituents and ensuring they have access to health coverage by co-sponsoring this important legislation.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean Brennan in my office, at sbrennan@pasenate.com or (717)-787-7112 at your convenience.



Introduced as SB958