Senate OKs Miller bill protecting Rhode Islanders from annual, lifetime insurance limits

 

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Joshua Miller to protect Rhode Islanders from annual and lifetime limits on health insurance benefits.

The legislation (2024-S 2382A) would repeal the authority of Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner to enforce any act of Congress or decision of federal court invalidating or repealing the prohibition of annual and lifetime limits on health insurance in this state.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) — commonly called “Obamacare” — protects Americans against insurance companies’ imposition of annual and lifetime limits on the dollar amount of essential health benefits. Rhode Island law contains a similar protection, but that law contains a section excusing the health insurance commissioner from enforcing it if the federal law is nullified.

“The ACA has been the target of efforts to repeal or overturn it since its enactment in 2010. There’s no reason Rhode Island can’t enforce our own protections, even if Congress or the Supreme Court choose to overturn them at the federal level. As we’ve seen with Roe v. Wade, our federal protections can be stripped away. The way to truly protect Rhode Islanders is to ensure that protection at the state level,” said Chairman Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence).

Chairman Miller was also the sponsor of legislation (2023-S 0023B) passed last year that enacted many of the consumer-protection elements of the ACA at the state level for the same reason.

The legislation, which in previous sessions was sponsored by the late Senate Majority  Whip Maryellen Goodwin, now goes to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Rebecca Kislak (D-Dist. 4, Providence) is sponsoring similar legislation (2024-H 7091).

 

 

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