Group says 200,000 in Kane, Kendall, McHenry to benefit from Obamacare provision
BY ERIKA WURST email@example.com July 30, 2012 12:44PM
Number of non-elderly people covered by the pre-existing conditions provision of the Affordable Care Act:
204,900 — McHenry, Kane and Kendall counties
199,500 — DuPage County
161,300 — Grundy and Will counties
1.1 million — Cook County
2.9 million — statewide
Source: Families USA
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:03AM
A new report has found more than 204,000 Kane, Kendall and McHenry county residents with pre-existing medical conditions will benefit from the Affordable Care Act provisions upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The report, issued last week by the consumer health group Families USA, said the High Court’s approval of the Affordable Care Act will provide new protections for a huge number of Illinoisans, including more than 2.9 million non-elderly people in the state who have pre-existing health conditions and were at risk of insurance company coverage denials.
According to the report, the number of non-elderly people receiving these new protections is 1.1 million in Cook County; 204,900 in McHenry, Kane, and Kendall counties; 199,500 in DuPage County; and 161,300 in Grundy and Will counties.
Under the Affordable Care Act, all of these residents can no longer be denied coverage, be charged a higher premium, or be sold a policy that excludes coverage of important health services simply because of a pre-existing condition.
The protections begin in January 2014, but children with pre-existing conditions are already protected through the new law against coverage denials.
“More than 2.9 million Illinoisans will now have the peace of mind and security they want for themselves and their families because they can no longer be denied coverage by an insurance company just because their doctor diagnosed a health problem,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA.
The likelihood that an Illinoisan has a pre-existing condition grows as they age: one in five people age 18 to 24 have a pre-existing condition; nearly a third of people ages 35 to 44 have such a condition, and nearly half of all Illinoisans ages 55 to 64 suffer from at least one ailment.
“Teachers, policemen and firefighters, businessmen and laborers, professionals in all walks of life have for decades faced the threat of physical and financial devastation because they could not buy a health insurance policy due to their pre-existing health conditions,” Pollack said.
“The Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — stops this discrimination and opens the door to quality coverage for all Illinoisans.”
Fox Valley U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, who voted against the Affordable Care Act, expressed concerns over the recent Supreme Court ruling, but has spoken out in favor of prohibiting the denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
In a letter to the editor last month, Hultgren said he is “strongly in favor of keeping provisions allowing college students to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, as well as measures prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
But overall, Hultgren said, the court’s decision “was just another chapter in a very long saga of a very bad bill.”
Hultgren said his first vote as a member of Congress — in January 2011 — was cast in support of repealing the Affordable Care Act.