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Name: Jerry and Becky Morefield

Ages: 48 and 49

Home: Mahomet, Ill.

Problem: Son lost coverage when medical bills topped $1 million lifetime limit.

How law will help: Lifetime caps eliminated. People who’ve maxed out must be reinstated if they’re still eligible for coverage.

Jerry and Becky Morefield are parents of 15-year-old triplets with cerebral palsy. Tanner, Taylor and Tucker all use wheelchairs. Of the three, Tucker has the most fragile health. He maxed out the $1 million lifetime limit in his family’s policy three years ago when he went into respiratory failure and was hospitalized for 12 weeks.

That meant the insurance company would no longer pay Tucker’s medical bills. Illinois has picked up the slack through a program for children with special health care needs. But the strapped program puts strict limits on certain medical supplies Tucker uses, causing the family to wash and reuse equipment meant for single use.

Becky Morefield learned last week from a reporter that the new health care law might help her family. She called her husband’s employer and discovered it was true. Tucker’s coverage will be reinstated at the start of the plan year, Jan. 1.

“I feel wonderful,” she said. “It will be nice to have an insurance company because I don’t have to rely totally on the state.”

Nearly 60 percent of employers offer insurance plans with a lifetime limit, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The new provision applies to both individual and group plans.

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Name: Scott Janis

Age: 44

Home: Streamwood, Ill.

Problem: Insurer retroactively canceled his coverage after he suffered a stroke.

Story Continues →