Statement from House Democratic Leader Dermody on the effort to protect people’s health insurance

HARRISBURG, April 26 -- House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland, issued the following statement on the House Insurance Committee taking up key bills sponsored by Democrats to protect health insurance coverage:

“Imagine a world where surviving COVID-19 meant your insurance company could drop you for having a pre-existing condition.

“As attacks on the Affordable Care Act continue at the federal level from special interests and President Trump, PA House Democrats have fought for a vote on several bills that make sure healthcare protections remain for all Pennsylvanians.

“Because of our efforts, the House Insurance Committee has now scheduled these bills for consideration on Monday, April 27 and we will not stop until they are signed by the governor. 

“We can’t return to the days when you could be turned down for coverage, not covered at all, or forced to pay out of pocket for skyrocketing prescription drug prices.

“So far, more than 40,000 people in our Commonwealth have contracted COVID-19. A COVID-19 diagnosis is a pre-existing condition. Without the ACA, anybody receiving this diagnosis can be denied coverage and prevented from getting the affordable care they need. 

“Making sure these bills become law is now more important than ever. Access to health care for working families and people with pre-existing conditions is under attack and we need to guarantee our residents are protected.”

The following bills are scheduled for a vote in the House Insurance Committee on Monday, April 27:

House Bill 471 (Schweyer) -- Would prohibit insurers from using a consumer’s pre-existing condition to deny coverage or a chance to purchase a policy if the ACA is eliminated.

House Bill 469 (DeLuca) -- Would require health insurance policies sold in the state to cover 10 essential benefits:

  • emergency services
  • hospitalization
  • prescription drugs
  • maternity and newborn care
  • mental health and substance abuse disorder services
  • rehabilitation
  • laboratory services to aid in diagnosis and treatment
  • chronic disease management
  • ambulatory patient services
  • pediatric services, including oral and vision care

House Bill 470 (Frankel) -- Would prohibit annual or lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits.

House Bill 913 (Longietti) -- Would allow an insured employee of a group health plan to provide health insurance coverage to their adult child up to age 26.

Dermody added, “We need to make sure each of these critical protections remain in place for Pennsylvanians regardless of the outcome of the attacks on the ACA at the federal level.”