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01/22/2021 09:48 PM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 22, 2020 05:11 PM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. John P. Blake, Sen. Lisa M. Boscola, Sen. James R. Brewster, Sen. Amanda M. Cappelletti, Sen. Maria Collett, Sen. Carolyn T. Comitta, Sen. Jay Costa, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. John I. Kane, Sen. Timothy P. Kearney, Sen. Katie J. Muth, Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr., Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero, Sen. Nikil Saval, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Sen. Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting Annual or Lifetime Limits on Health Insurance Policies
 
The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is pending before the United States Supreme Court.  If the Court, which is expected to issue an opinion this term, were to find the ACA unconstitutional, insurance companies could immediately offer insurance policies that have annual or lifetime limits.

In the near future, we plan on re-introducing Senate Bill 939 which prohibits health insurance policies within the Commonwealth from imposing either an annual or lifetime limit.

Prior to the passage of the ACA, health insurance companies could impose annual or lifetime limits on coverage for health insurance policies. It is estimated that prior to the federal prohibition on annual and lifetime limits, nearly 102 million Americans nationwide had a health insurance policy that was subject to either an annual or lifetime limit. Once these limits were reached, a policy holder or their family would be required to pay 100% of medical expenses out of pocket. This saddled individuals and families with debt and forced some to declare bankruptcy.

Annual or lifetime limits typically affect individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as cancer, mental illness, or addiction, that require constant treatment and drug therapies. According to estimates from the Departments of Human Services and Insurance, 4.5 million Pennsylvanians have benefited from the Federal prohibition on annual and lifetime limits.

Under our legislation, insurance policies sold or renewed in the Commonwealth, after the effective date of the bill, may not include an annual or lifetime limit.

Please join us in ensuring Pennsylvania law provides this important protection for our residents in the event the ACA is overturned through judicial means.

If you have any questions please contract Brittany Mekilo in Senator Fontana’s office at Brittany.Mekilo@pasenate.com or Michael Deery in Senator Hughes’ office at Michael.Deery@pasenate.com.