Posts Tagged ‘Chemotherapy

05
Jan
15

A Life Saved. Thanks, ObamaCare

ObamaCare Bumper Sticker

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Noam N. Levey: Obamacare’s Guaranteed Health Coverage Changes Lives In First Year

Like many working Americans, Lisa Gray thought she had good health insurance. That was until she was diagnosed with leukemia in mid-2013, and the self-employed businesswoman made a startling discovery: Her health plan didn’t cover the chemotherapy she needed. “I thought I was going to die,” Gray, 62, said recently, recalling her desperate scramble to get lifesaving drugs. it was a new health plan through the Affordable Care Act that Gray credits with saving her life. The plan, which started Jan. 1, 2014, gave her access to the recommended chemotherapy. Her cancer went into remission in the fall. It is now one year since the federal law began guaranteeing coverage to most Americans for the first time, even if they are sick.

For many Americans like Gray — who were stuck in plans that didn’t cover vital services or who couldn’t get insurance because of a preexisting medical condition — the law has had a personal, even life-changing impact. “A couple years earlier, I think I would have been done,” Gray said. But the insurance guarantee — which includes billions of dollars in aid to low- and middle-income Americans — has extended coverage to about 10 million people who previously had no insurance, surveys indicate. That cut the nation’s uninsured rate more than 20% last year, the largest drop in half a century. The law also changed coverage for millions more people who were in plans like Gray’s that capped or excluded benefits, a once-common feature of health insurance that is now banned.

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