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HealthReform.gov Homepage Update

Actuary Report Reaffirms that Affordable Care Act will Strengthen Medicare, Extend Coverage to Millions of Americans Posted April 23, 2010 By Jessica Santillo, Communications Director for Strategy and Policy

Yesterday, the Office of the Actuary released an analysis of the new health insurance reform law.  Here is Secretary Sebelius on the report:

"Congress and the President have enacted landmark legislation that puts American families and businesses back in control of their own health care. The analysis by the independent Office of the Actuary reaffirms what the Congressional Budget Office has already said: the Affordable Care Act will cover more Americans and strengthen Medicare by cracking down on waste fraud and abuse, modernizing payment systems and improving benefits by providing free preventive services, supporting innovations that help control chronic disease and closing the prescription drug donut hole. The Actuaries also find that under the new law, the life of the Medicare trust fund is extended by 12 years while reducing annual Medicare premiums by nearly $200 per senior in the coming years.  The Affordable Care Act will improve the health care system for all Americans and we will continue our work to quickly and carefully implement the new law."

Sebelius Urges WellPoint to Stop Dropping Coverage for Women with Breast Cancer Posted April 23, 2010 By Jenny Backus, Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

Yesterday, Reuters reported that WellPoint has been dropping health insurance coverage for women with breast cancer - a practice that will be illegal beginning this fall under the Affordable Care Act.

Secretary Sebelius has sent WellPoint a letter urging them to stop now.

In her letter, Sebelius writes, "WellPoint should not wait to end the unconscionable practice of deliberately working to deny health insurance coverage to women diagnosed with breast cancer.  I urge you to immediately cease these practices and abandon your efforts to rescind health insurance coverage from patients who need it most."

Click here to read the letter.

Covering Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Posted April 23, 2010 By Jessica Santillo, Communications Director for Policy and Strategy

HHS is working closely with states, insurers, providers, and other partners as we implement the new health reform law to ensure benefits reach the American people as quickly as possible. 

As part of ongoing outreach, HHS officials talked with states today about the temporary high risk pool program.

The new high-risk pool program is an important first step in ensuring Americans have access to affordable, quality health care.  Starting this year, individuals who have been uninsured for at least six months and have a pre-existing condition will be able to get health insurance through the temporary high-risk pool program.

Secretary Sebelius has asked states to let HHS know by April 30 whether they want to participate in the program, which is funded entirely by the Federal government.  If states choose not to participate, HHS will carry out a coverage program in the state.

Click here to see the fact sheet on the high-risk pool.



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