Families USA released a report today providing estimates on the number of people who stand to benefit from a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. That portion of the law is scheduled to go into effect in 2014. The research is based on data from government surveys of people under 65. In other words, those who aren’t receiving Medicare coverage.
Nationally, the report identifies 64.8 million non-elderly Americans who have been diagnosed with medical conditions that could lead to denial of coverage by insurance companies. Virginia’s share of that total is nearly 1.7 million. The report even provides data by locality. Roanoke and Salem have 26,500 people under age 65 with pre-existing conditions. Roanoke and Botetourt counties have a total of 27,100. The number of people in Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties and Radford who stand to benefit from the law total 39,900. The results are pretty consistent. Roughly one in four people are at risk of being denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Southwest Virginia’s figures tend to be higher. Nearly 30 percent of the population in Galax and the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Grayson, Tazewell and Wythe are affected by pre-existing conditions.