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National Patient Advocate Foundation Hails Senator Rockefeller for Introducing Bill Protecting Patient Access to Health Coverage
Date:10/26/2007

Rockefeller Bill Will Help End Insurance Coverage Exclusions for Pre-existing Conditions for Individuals and Small-Business Owners

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) -- a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of improved patient access to health care through public policy reform at the state and federal levels -- today praised Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) for acting to protect Americans at risk of being denied health insurance coverage as a result of pre-existing conditions.

"Because of gaps in current law, many Americans suffering from chronic, disabling, and life-threatening conditions either have no health insurance coverage or are continuously at risk of losing the coverage they have," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, President and CEO of NPAF. "Closing these gaps is a central component of NPAF's ongoing initiative to end pre-existing condition exclusions, and we applaud and thank Senator Rockefeller for his leadership on this important issue."

The Rockefeller legislation, S. 2236, the "Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion Patient Protection Act of 2007" amends provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) that currently allows patients to be denied health insurance coverage. The Rockefeller legislation would extend the protections of HIPPA that already cover group policies to individuals and small businesses, which often find it difficult or impossible to attain health coverage when someone has a pre-existing condition. Often insurers will either refuse to issue policies, or will charge so much for the policies when a person has a pre-existing condition that it is simply unaffordable.

Davenport-Ennis called the legislation "an important step in the fight to eradicate pre-existing condition exclusions from the private insurance market," but she cautioned that the battle is not for the faint of heart. Davenport-Ennis said, "NPAF is proud to join Senator Rockefeller in taking up the cause of the millions of Americans with chronic illness and little or no access to health insurance. We stand ready to support the Senator in any way that we can to assure passage of this landmark legislation."

NPAF is the companion organization of the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), which was founded on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility. NPAF is dedicated to working with Congress and all levels of government to overcome challenges and create solutions that will allow for progressive, modern, and effective healthcare for all. PAF services are available to all patients, patient families, and medical professionals. It also offers - always free-of-charge - a variety of patient assistance programs including Co-Pay Relief and Colorectal Care Line, insurance claims intervention, job retention services, and debt crisis management.

For more information see http://www.npaf.org and http://www.patientadvocate.org.


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SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
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