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National Patient Advocate Foundation Applauds Senators Lautenberg and Brown for Protecting Health Care Coverage for At-Risk Children
Date:6/12/2008

the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), important safeguards are provided to certain individuals and families when they move from one group health policy to another. While families have come to rely on these protections, significant gaps remain that can make finding coverage for a chronically ill child in the individual health insurance market a serious challenge. For example, families who allow their health insurance to lapse for more than 63 days put their children with pre-existing conditions at risk of becoming uninsurable. Children transitioning from Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to private insurance may also find that their pre-existing conditions are not covered because the public program was not considered "creditable" group coverage.

While HIPAA provides exceptions to pre-existing condition exclusions for several specific groups of children (including pregnant women, newborn infants and adopted children), the Children's Health Protection Act would expand upon HIPAA's protections and eliminate pre-existing coverage limitations for all chronically ill children. If enacted, the legislation would prohibit insurers from refusing to provide coverage to a child with a pre-existing condition.

"A child's health should never be threatened due to a parent's error in judgment when selecting medical care -- such as their lack in understanding of HIPAA's no-63-day-break-in-coverage rule -- or an employer's decision to drop a family's coverage," added Davenport-Ennis. "Senators Lautenberg, Brown and Representative Schwartz have taken an important step in protecting chronically ill children at risk of having no health insurance by introducing this legislation. NPAF is proud to work with these leaders in any way that we can to help ensure that this vital legislation is enacted."

About the National Patient Advocate Foundation

NPAF is the companion organization of the Patient Advo
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SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
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