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WHAT IS IDEAL HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE?

By Stacia Wagner
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

With the upcoming new year, many of us are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I was reading a commentary in a local paper regarding the American Cancer Society’s opinion on the upcoming decisions. ACS states they will be watching carefully to be sure the benchmark plan does not limit cancer treatment benefits. Examples of limits we would oppose include establishing a maximum number of covered doctor visits or excluding coverage for palliative care, which provides patients relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness.

In March, the Supreme Court will be looking in part at: whether Congress was acting within its constitutional powers by requiring all Americans to have at least a basic form of health insurance by 2014 (those who do not will be required to pay a penalty on their 2015 income tax returns); and whether Congress is improperly coercing states to expand Medicaid, the subsidized health-care program for the poor and disabled.

While we all recognize the importance of equal access to affordable health insurance coverage, the quality of the coverage is just as important. ACS brings up important points regarding pain and palliative care. We want coverage which assists in early detection, provides thorough coverage during treatment and if needed rehabilitation, and addresses pain and palliative care. We also want coverage for life after a brain tumor including coverage for needed on-going neurocognitive testing which impacts education and employment and annual preventative medical follow-up. So what did your health insurance cover or fail to cover during and after treatment that we can add to our ideal coverage list? Help us create an ideal coverage recommendation.

For more information and updates on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act see http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220809,00.html and http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/full.html.

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