HHS Says 105 Million No Longer Have Health Insurance Limits

National Journal Staff

The 2010 health reform law has eliminated lifetime limits on insurance coverage for more than 105 million Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a report released on Monday.

HHS calculated how many Americans were enrolled in health insurance plans that imposed limits on how much they would pay out over a patient's lifetime. Such limits hit patients with costly diseases, such as cancer, especially hard.

“For years, Americans with lifetime caps imposed on their health insurance benefits have had to live with the fear that if an illness or accident happened, they could max out their health coverage when they needed it the most,” Sebelius said in a statement.  “Now, because of the health care law, they no longer have to live in fear of that happening.”

HHS said it estimates that 70 million people in large employer plans, 25 million covered by small employer plans, and 10 million who bought their own health insurance had lifetime limits on their health benefits before the health reform law took effect.