Nevada: State Senate ALSO unanimously votes to lock in major ACA Blue Leg protections!
There seems to be something in the air this week...or perhaps it just takes roughly 3 months from the time a new legislative session starts for the first legislation to work its way through the process. Whatever the reason, Washington, Connecticut and now Nevada have all made major moves towards codifying ACA patient protections at the state level in the even the ACA itself is repealed:
The Nevada Senate has passed a bill that would enact state-level health care protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
State Sen. Julia Ratti says the legislation aims to bring about protections that are already in place under the Affordable Care Act. The Democrat told lawmakers last month that people are worried about their health care access.
She says Nevada should make sure these protections are in place at the state level if the federal provisions are rolled back.
State senators approved the measure on Monday in a unanimous vote.
The measure stipulates that insurers cannot deny a person health care coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
Republican Sen. Ben Kieckhefer told lawmakers Monday that the measure will not change anything right now, but nevertheless is a significant piece of legislation.
That's literally the entire AP article...but like in Connecticut, the fact that the vote was unanimous is telling.
Here's an earlier article which provides some additional details on the bill:
[State Sen. Julia Ratti's] remarks came amid a presentation to fellow lawmakers of a bill, SB235, that would codify the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions into state law, and the world Ratti was referring to is the one that existed prior to 2010 — before Congress passed the landmark health-care law.
Among other things, the ACA created protections for patients so that insurance companies couldn’t deny insurance coverage, exclude coverage of a particular benefit or charge a higher premium based on someone’s pre-existing condition. In the health care world, those are known as guarantee issue, pre-existing condition exclusions and community rating, respectively.
...Ratti assured fellow lawmakers on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, which sponsored the bill and of which she is chair, that the legislation “does no more than but does at least what is in the Affordable Care Act” as it relates to pre-existing conditions — a backstop in the event that the protections are removed from federal law by the courts.
...A wide array of health-care groups...testified in favor of the legislation.
...No one testified in neutral or in opposition to the legislation.
...Ratti acknowledged that the legislation is “relatively narrow in scope,” only codifying the portion of the Affordable Care Act dealing with protections for pre-existing conditions.
OK, it sounds like SB235 checks off the Big Three blue leg protections (Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating and Essential Health Benefits). I've taken a quick look at the text itself and unless I'm missing something, I don't see any of the other 5 (Minimum AV, removal of annual/lifetime coverage caps, maximum out of pocket costs, free preventative services or allowing young adults to stay on their parents plan until age 26). However, as with Washington State, in Nevada young adults were already allowed to stay on their parents plans before the ACA...although only until age 24 (not 26 as under the ACA) and only as long as they're unmarried and students.
In short, this bill (which I assume still has to go through the state House and be signed by the NV Governor) codifies perhaps 70% of the Blue Leg.