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March 14, 2012

Health Reform Law Ends Lifetime Limits for 105 Million Americans

HHS Secretary Sebelius released a new report on Mon Mar 5 on how the health reform law has eliminated lifetime limits on coverage for more than 105 million Americans. Before health reform, many Americans with serious illnesses such as cancer risked hitting the lifetime limit on the dollar amount their insurance companies would cover for their healthcare benefits.

The end of lifetime limits is one of many new consumer rights and protections in the law for Americans nationwide. In the report, HHS provides data on the number of people in each state that benefit from this component of the law. The Obama administration also released updated state data on other ways the new law has impacted Americans, including the number of people with Medicare receiving new preventive benefits and the various grants awarded to states.

While some plans provided coverage without dollar limits on lifetime benefits, 105 million Americans were previously in health plans that had lifetime limits. HHS estimates that 70 million people in large employer plans, 25 million people in small employer plans, and 10 million people with individually-purchased health insurance had lifetime limits on their health benefits prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. This includes 39.5 million women and 28 million children; 11.8 million Latinos and 10.4 million African Americans.

To view the report on lifetime limits, visit To view additional state-by-state data on the benefits of health reform, visit No Longer Available

The full text of this excerpted HHS press release (issued Mon Mar 5) can be found at

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