The American Health Care Act, the GOP's Obamacare replacement plan, passed the House of Representatives on Thursday. What counts as a preexisting condition that could get you denied coverage under the new plan?
The bill raises concerns, especially from patient advocacy groups and physicians, that under the AHCA, people with preexisting conditions will once again find health insurance inaccessible.
Preexisting conditions were a term used by insurance companies before the Affordable Care Act to classify certain diseases or health problems that could deny a person insurance coverage or make their coverage more expensive than those who were considered healthy.
Before the ACA
An estimated 27% of Americans under 65 have health conditions that could leave them uninsurable, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some of the preexisting conditions that insurers declined coverage to before the ACA, according to KFF, included diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which affects millions of Americans.
These preexisting conditions included:
AIDS/HIV, lupus, alcohol abuse/Drug abuse with recent treatment, Severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or an eating disorder, Alzheimer’s/dementia, Multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other inflammatory joint disease, Muscular dystrophy, cancer, severe obesity, cerebral palsy, organ transplant, congestive heart failure, paraplegia, coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery, paralysis, Crohn’s disease/ ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease /emphysema, pending surgery or hospitalization, diabetes mellitus, pneumocystic pneumonia, epilepsy, pregnancy or expectant parent, hemophilia, sleep apnea, hepatitis C, stroke, kidney disease, renal failure, transsexualism.
Other conditions that could make it harder to purchase a health insurance plan included, according to the KFF:
Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, basal cell skin cancer (a type of skin cancer that doesn't tend to spread), depression, ear infections, fractures, high cholesterol, hypertension, incontinence, joint injuries, kidney stones, menstrual irregularities, migraine headaches, overweight, restless leg syndrome, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, varicose veins, and vertigo.
Some insurance plans before the ACA also counted rape and domestic violence as preexisting conditions, though CNN reports some states have banned that practice.