August 2012: What the Supreme Court Decision Means for People with Spina Bifida

On Thursday, June 28, the United States Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act (also known as the “health care reform” bill) and its provisions that will help ensure that Americans living with Spina Bifida have access to the health care they need to live healthy, productive lives. While the law isn’t perfect, it aims to greatly improve the lives of those with chronic conditions.

The Affordable Care Act eliminates discriminatory insurance practices such as exclusions for people with preexisting conditions and annual and lifetime benefits caps, and improving access to long-term care. Children cannot be denied insurance coverage due to a preexisting condition and older children can remain on a parent’s insurance policy until the age of 26.

While some people with Spina Bifida qualify for Medicaid and/or coverage under federal or state disability programs, many require health insurance coverage and access through the commercial market. As such, through its expansion of access to health insurance coverage, the Affordable Care Act should result in more people with Spina Bifida having access to treatment and adequate medical care to manage their condition.

On behalf of the 166,000 individuals Americans with Spina Bifida, the Spina Bifida Association remains steadfast in our efforts to advance and ensure access to comprehensive, affordable care for people with Spina Bifida. We will work with others in the disability and chronic disease communities to monitor and help implement the Affordable Care Act to ensure that its provisions will have a positive impact on the lives of the individuals and families we represent.

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