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Health reform law ends lifetime limits for 237,000 residents of Alaska

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report today on how the health reform law has eliminated lifetime limits on coverage for 237,000 Alaska residents, including 86,000 women and 64,000 children.

Before health reform, many Americans with serious illnesses such as cancer risked hitting the lifetime limit on the dollar amount their insurance companies would cover for their health care benefits. 

“For years, Americans with lifetime caps imposed on their health insurance benefits have had to live with the fear that if an illness or accident happened, they could max out their health coverage when they needed it the most,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “Now, because of the health care law, they no longer have to live in fear of that happening.”

The end of lifetime limits is one of many new consumer rights and protections in the law for Americans nationwide.  In the report, HHS provides data on the number of people in each state that benefit from this component of the law.  The Obama administration also released updated state data on other ways the new law has impacted Americans, including the number of people with Medicare receiving new preventive benefits and the various grants awarded to states.

While some plans provided coverage without dollar limits on lifetime benefits, 105 million Americans nationwide were previously in health plans that had lifetime limits.  HHS estimates that 70 million people in large employer plans, 25 million people in small employer plans, and 10 million people with individually purchased health insurance had lifetime limits on their health benefits prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. 

This includes 39.5 million women and 28 million children; 11.8 million Latinos and 10.4 million African Americans.

To view the report on lifetime limits, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012/LifetimeLimits/ib.shtml

To view additional state by state data on the benefits of health reform, visit:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/04/new-data-affordable-care-act-your-state

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