Navigation Links
Patient Advocates Cite Insurance Caps as Critical Difference in Senate and House Health Care Reform
Date:1/14/2010

Advocacy groups warn that Senate version of bill would not eliminate caps for millions of Americans

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Organization for Rare Disorders and 34 other patient advocacy groups are warning that the Senate health care reform bill would not eliminate annual and lifetime insurance caps for many Americans, contrary to common belief.  The groups say millions of people would still be vulnerable to loss of their insurance benefits if provisions from the Senate bill are adopted in the final legislation.  

"This is a critical issue for patients with rare diseases, as it should be for all patients," said Peter L. Saltonstall, NORD's president and CEO.  "As the House and Senate negotiate health care reform, we must keep in mind the central focus, to create medical security. Capping insurance payments, either on an annual or lifetime basis, can lead to substantial limits on medical care for patients."

Saltonstall said NORD often hears from patients who are worried about being unable to afford their treatment or impoverishing their families if they should lose health benefits as a result of reaching a cap.  For instance:

  • A 24-year-old man with hemophilia anticipates that his lifetime medical benefits will be exhausted in about three years.
  • The family of a 9-year-old child diagnosed with aplastic anemia at age 4 worries that he could exhaust his benefits very early in his life.
  • Parents of a high school student stricken with life-threatening illness at age 16 worry about losing his insurance coverage, which has a $1 million lifetime cap.

NORD was one of 63 patient advocacy groups that sent a letter this week to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging elimination of all annual and lifetime insurance caps.  Advocacy groups also sent a letter to President Obama.

Many private insurance plans include annual or lifetime caps.  Typical lifetime caps are in the range of $1 million or $2 million -- a figure that can be reached relatively quickly by people with rare, chronic, or catastrophic diseases.    

The patient advocates are urging that Congress adopt the House provisions on lifetime limits, which would eliminate such limits in all private insurance plans in 2010.  This is in stark contrast to the Senate version of health reform, which would allow lifetime limits to continue indefinitely on existing plans.

Regarding annual limits, the groups urge adoption of the House provisions with one exception—that the final legislation incorporate a Senate provision restricting annual caps until the caps are fully eliminated in 2013 for new plans and 2018 for existing plans.

Advocacy groups joining NORD in urging Congressional leaders to adopt the House provisions on this issue include:

Alpha-1 Association

Alpha-1 Foundation

American Behcet's Disease Association

Amyloidosis Support Groups

Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation

Cicatricial Alopecia Research Foundation

COPD Foundation

Cystinosis Research Network

Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America

GBS/CIDP Foundation International

Hemophilia Federation of America

Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation

Histiocytosis Association

Immune Deficiency Foundation

Kennedy's Disease Association

MHE Research Foundation

National Ataxia Foundation

National Hemophilia Foundation

National Marfan Foundation

National MPS Society

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases

National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation

Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association

Sarcoma Foundation of America

Scleroderma Foundation

Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Foundation

Stevens Johnson Syndrome Foundation

The Myositis Association

Tourette Syndrome Association

United Leukodystrophy Foundation

Vasculitis Foundation

Wilson's Disease Association

SOURCE National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

RELATED LINKS
http://www.rarediseases.org

'/>"/>

SOURCE National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Health care professionals failing to tell patients they are not fit to drive
2. Parkinsons patients who are pathological gamblers also display abnormal social behavior
3. Mail-Order Pharmacy Use Could Improve Patients Medication Adherence
4. Transplanted Trachea Grows Own Blood Supply in Patients Arm
5. 1 in 4 patients have lost bone around their implants
6. Words used to describe substance-use patients can alter attitudes, contribute to stigma
7. The Eye Institute of Utah Hosts World Renowned Cataract Surgeons: In Economically Trying Times, Nine Fortunate Patients Receive State of the Art Cataract Lenses
8. Economy Has Patients Looking For Less Costly Ways To Enhance Appearance Says Dr. Phillip Langsdon, MD, FACS
9. Spinal cement may provide real support for cancer patients
10. New ethical guidance from ACP for patient-physician-caregiver relationship
11. American Heart Association Encourages Heart Disease Patients to Get H1N1 Flu Shot in Support of National Influenza Vaccination Week, Jan. 10-16
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in ... investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and ... more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis ... new environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical ... for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing ... ensure they are providing products and services that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation , ... Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard Medical ... Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and the ... five finalists of Lyme Innovation , the ... 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed Care ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily ... make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses ... medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in the ... the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: