Five reasons to withdraw Idaho’s Draft Bulletin 16-04 and protect patients from discrimination

5.20.16

Idaho’s Draft Bulletin 16-04, providing guidance for insurance companies, would have dramatic consequences when it comes to health care costs for many patients, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, MS, kidney disease, bleeding disorders and autoimmune diseases.

It’s bad policy for all residents of Idaho. Here are five reasons why.


    1. It would allow insurance companies to discriminate against patients with chronic illnesses, putting patients’ lives at risk.


Draft Bulletin 16-04 addresses some groups in need of protection from discrimination – those with HIV, for example – but it fails to ensure nonprofits serving those with other chronic illnesses are protected.

    2. It would put undue financial strain on the most vulnerable and sick Idaho residents.


Idaho residents living with chronic and life-threatening diseases often face tremendous financial strain to obtain the health coverage necessary to manage their conditions. For many, third-party payments offer a crucial lifeline they can’t afford to lose. These assistance programs mean they don’t have to choose between paying for their insurance and keeping the lights on at home.

    3. It would allow insurance companies to reject support from virtually every nonprofit organization currently providing patients with premium and co-pay assistance in Idaho.


Nonprofit organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and American Kidney Fund have a long and credible history helping patients to make ends meet.

Because Draft Bulletin 16-04 fails to define terms such as “financial interest,” and these groups could receive some form of support from outside groups affiliated with specific illnesses, they would no longer be able to provide patient services in Idaho.

    4. It would have a disproportionate impact on minorities.


We know that a disproportionate number of minorities deal with chronic diseases in comparison to the general U.S. population. Any impact on their ability to access care would also have a disproportionate impact on these communities.

    5. Payments from nonprofit assistance programs are invaluable resources helping to protect all Idaho residents.


When patients can’t afford their medications or premiums, their health suffers. That leads to more hospital visits or enrollment in government programs, driving up costs for Idaho taxpayers.

We have until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27, to stop Draft Bulletin 16-04! Please send a letter by clicking here – we have one ready that you can personalize or send as is.

And please share this information with family and friends. Together we can all fight discrimination by insurance companies.