Study: 52M with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage without ObamaCare

Study: 52M with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage without ObamaCare
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A new study finds that 27 percent of adults under 65 have pre-existing health conditions that could lead to them being denied coverage if ObamaCare were repealed. 

ObamaCare banned insurance companies from rejecting people because of their pre-existing health conditions, but the study released Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that if pre-ObamaCare rules returned, 52 million Americans could be denied coverage.


The study notes that the vast majority of these 52 million people have coverage through their employers or government programs such as Medicaid, but if they ever lost that coverage and tried to apply on their own in the individual market, they could be denied a new plan. 

Insurance companies had long lists of conditions that meant people could be denied coverage before ObamaCare. The conditions ranged from diabetes to sleep apnea to pregnancy. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that before ObamaCare, 18 percent of individual market insurance applicants were denied coverage. Others simply did not even try applying. 

Republicans, now pushing to repeal ObamaCare, say that they want to maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The problem they face is finding a way to do this while bringing in healthy enrollees as well to avoid a spike in premiums from insurance rolls overwhelmed with high-cost consumers. 

ObamaCare incentivized healthy people to sign up through its “individual mandate” for everyone to get coverage, but Republicans are looking to abolish that mandate. 

One Republican alternative that does not use a mandate is protecting people with pre-existing conditions only when they are switching types of coverage. That option provides protection in fewer instances than ObamaCare, which also protects people with pre-existing conditions when they are uninsured and signing up for the first time.