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Consumer Health Alliance Strengthens Discount Health Plans' Code of Conduct for Obamacare

FRISCO, TX--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2013) - The Consumer Health Alliance (CHA), the national trade association for non-insurance discount health care programs, announced today it has revised its code of conduct to require its member companies to disclose to consumers that discount health plans are not qualified plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Discount health plans, which are not health insurance, give consumers direct access to ancillary health care products and services at discounted rates. These plans can supplement the health insurance purchased through state exchanges beginning Oct. 1, 2013.

"Many Americans are confused about Obamacare," says Vince DiBenedetto, CHA President. "The Consumer Health Alliance felt it was imperative for companies to be transparent as people begin to explore their options and shop for insurance with state health exchanges. We want consumers to understand that discount plans do not satisfy the ACA insurance mandate. But, they can work alongside ACA plans to make ancillary services more affordable."

While the ACA will significantly increase the number of insured Americans by requiring people to be insured by Jan. 1, 2014, many health care services will not be included in health plans offered through state exchanges, such as dental and vision for adults.

CHA companies provide discount health benefits to more than 45 million Americans. Discount health plans are available for a variety of health care services that will not be covered in many ACA plans, including dental and vision for adults, chiropractic, hearing and alternative medicine.

"Discount health plans have been around for nearly three decades," says DiBenedetto. "In recent years, these plans have become much more common as Americans try to fill insurance gaps and stretch their health care dollars. That trend will continue as the ACA is implemented."

Created in 2001, CHA works to promote consumer-friendly business standards while seeking practical and targeted regulation of the discount health industry. Currently, 34 states have discount health program laws, while 23 of those states require a license or registration for discount health plans.

To learn more about the Consumer Health Alliance, visit www.ConsumerHealthAlliance.org.