CNN

Utah City Has Lowest Percentage Of Pre-existing Health Conditions In Nation

Sep 4, 2018, 12:15 AM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:01 pm

...

03 SEP 18 11:35 ET

Click here for updates on this story

Hartford, CT (Hartford Business Journal) — Nearly one-in-four residents of the Hartford metropolitan area have a pre-existing medical condition that might make it difficult for them to obtain insurance coverage for that illness if a key provision in the Affordable Care Act is overturned, a new study says.

Protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions has become a hot-button issue in the midterm elections as the Trump administration has moved to undo some ACA provisions. A federal court in Texas is set next month to hear a challenge to the ACA.

Since 2014, the Affordable Care Act has prohibited individual market insurers from denying coverage due to a current or past diagnosis of a so-called “declinable medical condition.”

A Kaiser Family Foundation study released this week of people with those conditions in major metropolitan areas determined that 24 percent of the non-elderly residents of the East Hartford-Hartford-West Hartford area have a medical condition that in the past allowed insurers to deny that person coverage.

In an earlier study, Kaiser determined that, nationally, the number of Americans with pre-existing conditions was 27 percent.

The list of pre-existing ailments is long, covering a wide range of medical conditions – from pregnancy and sleep apnea to cancer and heart disease.

While many people with pre-existing conditions obtain health insurance through an employer or through a government-run program like Medicaid, the study suggests that in some areas, many adults would be ineligible for individual market insurance if ACA protections were eliminated and they were to lose their current coverage.

The study found the number of Americans with pre-existing conditions varied widely from metropolitan area to metropolitan area.

In the Worcester, Mass. metro area, which includes part of Connecticut, it was 27 percent. In the Springfield, Mass. metro area it was 26 percent.

The fewest people with pre-existing health conditions — 20 percent — lived in Logan, Utah and the highest, 41 percent, lived in Kingsport, Tenn.

“In some communities in the United States, more than one-third of non-elderly adults have a pre-existing condition that would lead to a denial of individual insurance without the ACA’s requirements,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

He said the Trump administration has taken several steps to weaken protections for people who have medical conditions.

It has expanded the availability of short-term insurance plans, which are exempt from ACA-required coverage requirements, including guaranteed access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. Connecticut and a handful of other states have passed laws restricting those plans.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy introduced legislation this week that would block the expansion of short-term plans. Supported by 30 Democratic senators, the legislation has a slim chance of being considered in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Connecticut also has a law that prohibits insurers from denying coverage to state residents with pre-existing conditions who don’t have short-term plans.

But that protection, as well as the state-mandated “essential health benefits” all insurers in the state must provide, is predicated on the ACA and would be vulnerable to repeal if the health care law no longer existed.

Texas v. United States was filed by officials from 20 “red states,” all won by President Donald Trump in 2016.

The challenge to the ACA argues that since last year’s federal tax overhaul removed the penalty for people without health insurance, the entire health care law is now unconstitutional. The Trump administration decided in June not to defend the ACA against the Texas lawsuit and agreed with the plaintiff states that key provisions of the act are unconstitutional.

Democratic attorneys general from 16 states, including Connecticut and Washington, D.C., are defending the 2010 law.

Because the Texas case may very well end up in the nation’s highest court, Democrats will question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his position on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and the provision protecting people with pre-existing conditions during confirmation hearings GOP Senate leaders hope to hold next week.

“If that case ends up in the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh would be the swing vote in overturning the protections in the law,” Murphy said.

Although the health care law is controversial and support for it in polls seldom reaches 50 percent, a number of surveys show the ACA’s protection of people with pre-existing conditions is popular with voters.

A recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll showed that more than six out of ten (63 percent) respondents said a candidate’s position on continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is either the “single most important factor” or “very important, but not the most important factor” in determining who they would vote for in November’s midterm election.

“It’s one explosive issue. People are freaked out about going back to the old ways (without protections),” said Murphy, a staunch defender of the ACA in Congress.

He called ending protections for pre-existing conditions “really bad policy and really bad politics.”

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., recently introduced a bill with the support of nine other Senate Republican called the “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act” that says no insurer may reject an insurance applicant based on his or her medical condition or history

But the legislation has a loophole. It doesn’t require that the insurer cover the treatment of an applicant’s preexisting condition.

Blocking treatment for certain illnesses in a health insurance policy are called “exclusions.” Tillis’ bill would not eliminate this insurer practice.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

CNN

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry, from Virginia, were spending the winter cruising the Eastern Caribb...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

2 Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada

The family of two Americans who may have been killed after prison escapees allegedly hijacked their yacht in Granada are clinging to hope the couple might be found alive.

4 hours ago

Placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza are lifted during a rally calling for t...

Camila DeChalus, Sam Fossum and Alex Marquardt, CNN

US says ‘understanding’ reached at Gaza hostage talks but negotiations continue

Negotiators have come to an “understanding” on the broad contours of a potential deal to release hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN Sunday.

5 hours ago

Migrants walk along the US-Mexico border wall after crossing the Rio Grande into El Paso, Texas, fr...

Priscilla Alvarez, Camila DeChalus and Alison Main, CNN

Migrant crisis looms over governors’ gathering at the White House

The record level of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border loomed over a gathering of governors at the White House this weekend, revealing how the issue has become prominent in states nationwide and across the political spectrum.

8 hours ago

Margot Robbie arrives at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on February 24. (Jordan Stra...

Alex Rees, CNN. Photo editor: Jennifer Arnow, CNN

See the best looks from the 2024 SAG Awards red carpet

Stars from the past year’s biggest movies and TV shows walked the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet on February 24. See all the best looks here.

8 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event J...

Gregory Krieg, CNN

Trump will win South Carolina primary, CNN projects, as he closes in on the Republican nomination

Former President Donald Trump will win South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary, CNN projects, further tightening his grip on the nomination and leaving his last remaining major rival Nikki Haley to consider her dwindling options.

1 day ago

The defendants are accused of stealing software used to train Apache helicopter pilots....

Haley Britzky and Sharif Paget, CNN

2 National Guardsmen killed after military helicopter crash in Mississippi

Two National Guard members died after a helicopter crashed Friday afternoon during a training flight in northeast Mississippi.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Utah City Has Lowest Percentage Of Pre-existing Health Conditions In Nation