Health Reform's Protections for Americans with Disabilities

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<p>Currently, many Americans with disabilities face potential discrimination from health insurance companies based on health status and health care need. When fully implemented in 2014, the Affordable Care Act should change that. </p>
<p>As explained in a new Commonwealth Fund <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2011/mar/essential-health-benefits-provisions-affordable-care-act">issue brief</a>, the health reform law will not only enable people with disabilities to secure access to more affordable coverage, it also will help ensure that the coverage they purchase is appropriate to their health care needs—and won't leave them at risk for high out-of-pocket costs. George Washington University's Sara Rosenbaum and colleagues detail the various ways in which health plan design and administration can produce discriminatory effects against people with disabilities, and examine how the new "essential health benefits" statute, if implemented well, could transform the insurance market for this vulnerable population. </p>
<p>The new brief is part of The Commonwealth Fund series "<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F4EDA1AE78A944BEA80198B614439375&_z=z">Realizing Health Reform's Potential</a>," which is exploring how the Affordable Care Act will improve health insurance coverage and help transform the delivery of care. </p>