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Leading National Patient Advocacy Group Commends Insurance Industry's Recognition, Focus on Growing National Problem of Uninsured and Underinsured Americans
Date:12/19/2007

National Patient Advocate Foundation Calls for Stronger National Measures, Urges America's Health Insurance Plan Proposal to Go Further

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) -- a national, non-profit organization dedicated to creating avenues of patient access to health care through state and federal public policy reform -- supports America's Health Insurance Plans' (AHIP's) acknowledgment today in its Individual Market Guarantee Access Proposal that in order to achieve universal and affordable coverage in the U.S., problems with individual market coverage -- particularly relating to individuals with pre-existing conditions -- need to be addressed first. However, NPAF said that the AHIP proposal does not go far enough to ensure affordable access to health coverage for the sickest Americans.

"NPAF very much welcomes the industry proposal as the recognition that there is a real problem of pre-existing condition coverage to be solved; however, we believe that its characterization of the problems individuals face with rescissions, denials and affordability issues have been significantly underestimated," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, President and CEO of NPAF. "NPAF has been working on changing the way pre-existing conditions are covered since January 2007, and -- contrary to the AHIP proposal -- believes that significant attention at the federal level will be needed to implement meaningful solutions through Guaranteed Access Plans and third-party review processes for resolving pre-existing condition disputes."

While the AHIP proposal includes broad recommendations for guaranteeing coverage in the individual market through the establishment of state Guarantee Access Plans, implementation of this plan would place significant responsibilities on states that are already experiencing severe financial difficulties covering their uninsured populations and funding their state high-risk pool
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