More than 1 in 5 Americans have a preexisting condition

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 24, 2010

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Approximately 57 million Americans -- or 22% of the population-- have at least one of 69 preexisting conditions often used to deny individual market coverage, according to a new report by the consumer advocacy group Families USA.

"Thankfully, the new health reform legislation will protect all these individuals from the most harmful insurance company abuses that deny such critical coverage," said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack. The health reform law, by 2014, will ban coverage denials based on health status and preexisting conditions.

The prevalence of preexisting conditions varies by age, the report found. While 16% of people age 18 to 24 have a condition, the rate increases to 46% for people in the 55 to 64 age bracket.

The report was released May 6 and is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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