The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: 1050 Connecticut Ave NW,Suite 65500,Washington, DC 20035,Phone: 202-393-5177

New Federal Health Care Reform Provisions Take Effect Thursday


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force marks the sixth-month
anniversary of the passage of health care reform and the implementation
of several key features to increase health insurance and care. While
many parts of the Affordable Care Act will go into effect over the next
few years, early steps to increase coverage and access to services begin
Thursday, Sept. 23.

Six critical pieces of health care reform go into effect tomorrow.
For clients in new plans there will no longer be lifetime caps on the
cost of services, there will be new ways to appeal insurance decisions,
and insurance companies and issuers must offer preventive care. In
addition, all group and individual insurance plans can no longer have
annual caps on services, young people can stay on the insurance plans of
their parents or guardians through age 25, and children can no longer
be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Passage of federal health care reform marked a critical step toward
ensuring access to health care for roughly 32 million people who are
currently uninsured, and toward ending some of the health insurance
industry's most egregious abuses. People of color and economically
impoverished people are disproportionately affected by such health
disparities. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our
families are among those affected by this broken and imbalanced health
care system. This week, several key provisions of health care reform go
into effect, which will in turn have a positive effect on people's lives
across the country.

"Access to health care and services is vital to LGBT people and our
families, and allows our community to live healthy and active lives. We
have long known that LGBT people suffer from significantly higher rates
of health disparities caused and exasperated by a lack of access to
quality health insurance. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is
an important step toward alleviating this problem. In particular, many
of the reforms taking effect tomorrow such as a removal of exclusions
based on pre-existing conditions for children, to be followed in the
next few weeks by a removal of pre-existing conditions for all, and the
ability for young people to stay on the insurance of their parents or
guardians, will have a beneficial impact for our community.

"We look forward to the implementation of the rest of health care
reform and urge the Obama administration and Department of Health &
Human Services to reflect the needs of the LGBT community throughout
this process, especially regarding data collection, outreach efforts and
public education."

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!