Pre-Existing Conditions No Longer Matter Under Affordable Care Act

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_6f86d7d23d.jpgiStockphoto/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- It's often a Catch-22 of health care -- when you need it the most, you can't get it. That's because a lot of insurers won't take people with pre-existing conditions. "They had high blood pressure, they might have had diabetes," health care expert Dr. Ken Thorpe with Emory University says, citing a few examples.

But that will all change next year under the new health care law.

"Now they'll be able to buy health insurance coverage without questions of their medical history...and they'll be able to get that coverage renewed on an annual basis," he says.

However, as Brad Herring with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins points out, the change will have its price.

"People who are paying really high health insurance premiums now due to a chronic health condition or maybe can't even get coverage now, for them, health insurance premiums will go down considerably, but essentially in order to pay for that health insurance, premiums are going to go up for younger, healthier people as a consequence," Herring explains.

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