Chronic Disease Coalition and 20-plus patient advocacy groups urge Congressional committee to support legislation protecting charity aid

11.7.17

The Chronic Disease Coalition and more than 20 other patient advocacy groups on Monday issued a letter urging national leaders to support a bill protecting more than a quarter-million Americans who depend on charitable financial aid to afford their health care.

A letter was set to all 55 members of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee urging their support for the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act (H.R. 3976). This critical legislation, which was reintroduced by Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) last month and received 147 bipartisan co-sponsors previously, would modify a rule by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that allowed health insurers to refuse to cover patients enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs) if they receive premium or cost-sharing assistance from nonprofit charities, including churches and civic groups.

“Individuals living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune diseases, often face prohibitive costs to simply maintain their health insurance,” the patient groups said. “To bridge this gap, non-profit premium and cost-sharing assistance charities temporarily step in to help patients cover the costs of the care they need to effectively manage their conditions and live healthy, productive lives. Not only do these charities provide a vital lifeline for those most in-need, but they do so at no added cost to the public.”

To read the full letter, please click here.

To send a note to your representative in Congress letting them know your position on this issue, click here.