The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempts to ensure that all eligible individuals have access to affordable health care, regardless of their health status. In the past, some insurers would offer insurance coverage in general, but exclude coverage for care related to a pre-existing health condition, referred to as a pre-existing condition exclusion. But since 2010, individuals under the age of 19 can’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing health conditions, nor can insurers include pre-existing condition exclusions. Starting in 2014, neither group health plans nor individual plans may deny coverage based on pre-existing health conditions. And, plans (with the exception of grandfathered individual plans) are prohibited from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions. This means that you can’t be denied coverage as an applicant; your insurer can’t cancel your coverage for any reason except fraud; and your plan can’t exclude coverage for a pre-existing health condition (unless your plan is a grandfathered plan, meaning it was in place on March 23, 2010).
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