Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today, Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley announced that he is cosponsoring the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, a bill that gives consumers the choice to keep their current health plans if they want to continue them. During the debate over the Affordable Care Act, a promise was made to consumers that if they liked their health care plan, they could keep it. Merkley wants to ensure that this promise is kept for Oregonians.

"Our health care law laid out a vision that those who like their current individual healthcare plan can keep it, and that vision must be honored," said Merkley.

"The original bill had a grandfather provision, but that provision did not work as intended.  When insurance companies changed significant provisions on policies, those policies lost their grandfather status.  I am sponsoring Senator Landrieu's bill to fix that.

"The health care law has many valuable reforms that increase support for prevention, increase competition between insurance providers, and create an insurance consumers' bill of rights that ends many predatory insurance practices.  These are important changes that we must protect and implement as intended.  As I've said from the beginning, I will work on a bipartisan basis with colleagues to keep what works and fix what doesn't."

This legislation will allow people to keep their current individual health plan as long as policyholders stay up-to-date with their payments and don't make changes to the policy.  Insurance companies will be required to notify policyholders about which parts of the policy do not meet minimum coverage standards made available in new plans, such as hospitalization, laboratory services, and prescription drugs, helping consumers to make informed decisions about their health plans.

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