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(Washington, DC) - With the enactment of the TRICARE Affirmation Act and the health insurance industry's decision to end the practice of rescissions well before the new law would have required it, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been strengthened and expedited this week. Congressman Baron Hill lauds these actions and how it builds upon the previous step taken by major insurers to allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance months earlier than the required deadline.

The new health reform bill explicitly states that TRICARE and TRICARE for Life will not be affected by the legislation as the program already meets the bill's quality and minimum benefits standard. Under this new plan, the administration of health care for service members, veterans and their families, will remain protected under the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. However, in an abundance of caution, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the TRICARE Affirmation Act - before the House vote on H.R. 3590 - which clarifies that all those serving in the military and their families, and military retirees and their families under age 65, have health care that meets the minimum benefit standard in the reform bill.

"Ensuring that our brave men and women in uniform who provide us with first-class protection receive first-class health care is one of my most solemn duties as your Member of Congress," Hill said. "I am pleased this bill was signed into law in a timely manner and believe it is a reaffirmation of our commitment and dedication to the health, well-being, and care of our soldiers."

In additional actions taken this week, the health insurance industry has decided to end its practice of cancelling claims once a patient gets sick - rescissions - next month, well before the September deadline required under the reform bill.

"This is welcome news for the fine people of Southern Indiana," Hill said. "Dropping coverage once someone gets sick, after they pay their premiums for years and then have to access the services they have paid for, is an abhorrent practice and I am glad to see it ended."

#DAL1234#



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