CNMI Expected to Benefit from ACA

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CNMI Expected To Benefit From Affordable Care Act
‘Obamacare’ should ensure coverage available to everyone
SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Oct. 4, 2013) – Residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will get more benefits when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becomes effective Jan. 1, 2014, according to Advocacy Officer for the Consumer Assistance Program of the Department of Commerce Kaitlyn Neises-Mocanu. In her presentation at the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting on Tuesday, she said ACA was passed on March 23, 2010 to make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans. Mocano said that law will mandate CNMI insurance reforms, which means that the CNMI will be able to make sure premium increases are reasonable and justified. “Insurance carriers are required to submit rate increases for review through the CNMI Rate Review Process,” Mocano said. She said ACA will also provide guaranteed availability and guaranteed renewability provision where no person can be denied coverage during open or special enrolment, no person can be denied coverage renewal, and this provision ensures that insurance coverage is available to anyone. “Health coverage can only be rescinded in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact,” she said. According to Mocano, the essential health benefit categories the CNMI insurance carriers will be mandated to implement under the ACA include ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services, pediatric services, including oral and vision, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and rehabilitative services.

Article printed in Marianas Variety, Oct. 4, 2013