Reid Announces Patient’s Bill Of Rights

 Washington, D.C.— Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced a new Patient’s Bill of Rights as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will end rescissions, ban lifetime limits on coverage, restrict annual limits on coverage, and eliminate pre-existing condition exclusions for children this September.  The new law also guarantees Nevadans will have their choice of primary care doctors and pediatricians from a plan’s network.

 “Health care reform is working in Nevada and across the country,” Reid said.  “Insurance companies in our state are already complying with many of the new measures, such as ending pre-existing condition exclusions for children and maintaining coverage when someone becomes sick.  The Patient’s Bill of Rights will help put Nevadans in control of their health coverage and care this year.”

 In the three months since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, changes that benefit Nevadans have already been implemented.  In April, UnitedHealthcare, a health insurance company with a significant presence in Nevada, announced they would end the practice of terminating an individual’s coverage when he or she gets sick.  WellPoint, Inc., an insurance company that provides coverage across the country, also announced that they would end rescissions.  UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield, which also maintains a strong presence in Nevada’s health insurance market, have also announced that children may remain covered under their parents’ plans until age 26, earlier than the new law requires.

 Nevada also has the opportunity to apply for federal funding to ensure that insurance companies do not unreasonably raise rates, and beginning in July, uninsured Nevadans with pre-existing conditions can find coverage through a new high-risk pool.  Finally, Nevada businesses can apply for assistance in maintaining retiree coverage and Nevada small businesses are eligible for a new tax credit this year to help them afford coverage for their employees.