Jan 28, 2015
By: Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the First Lady
The summer after he graduated from college, Kalwis Lo learned he had stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. His private health insurance plan denied him coverage for treatment, claiming the cancer diagnosis was a “pre-existing condition.” Every major private health plan turned him away. His family was forced to dip into their savings and ask friends and family for help to cover the cost of his testing and chemotherapy treatments. His family faced financial strain until Kalwis discovered that the Affordable Care Act created a temporary program for anyone denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. He enrolled in the program and that fall, Kalwis was able to get the treatment he needed and today is cancer-free.
Kalwis’s story is one of the reasons why President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. No one should be denied health insurance coverage when they need it most.