Fighting To Pass Health Insurance Reform Legislation in
MHARI’s Executive Director was among a group of community advocates who testified in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in favor of several health insurance reform bills. We are working with a broad coalition of stakeholders to pass a number of legislative bills that seek to:
1) Make telemedicine permanently available in Rhode Island (Senate Bill 0004).
2) Codify a number of consumer protections guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including a ban on gender rating (Senate Bill 0003), which allows insurers to charge women higher premiums; protection from discrimination against pre-existing conditions; behavioral health services; preventative and wellness services; and much more (Senate Bill 0005).
Unfortunately, the ACA’s prohibition on lifetime and annual limits was not part of this Senate legislation, so we will work to pass that legislation separately or in an amendment.
It is important to codify the national ACA’s consumer protections in Rhode Island’s state laws because the U.S. Supreme Court could strike down the ACA at any moment. If that happens, Rhode Islanders will be at the mercy of health insurance companies again, and we must have protections and guarantees in place to ensure that health insurance coverage is fair, meaningful, and accessible to all.
The bills referenced above passed out of Committee and will be voted on the Senate Floor on Tuesday, January 26, where they are expected to pass. Please, stay tuned! We will need YOUR VOICE to help pass this legislation in the House of Representatives, where the future of these bills is far more uncertain.