On Wednesday, May 1st, Patient Services Inc., and many others from across the United States will visit Washington D.C to meet with our nation’s leaders to advocate for protecting premium & cost-sharing assistance for individuals who need it most.

Did You Know?

In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not include non-profit charities on the list of entities that can provide third-party assistance for patients, many of whom are battling chronic and life-threatening illnesses. As a result, health plans are now allowed to deny coverage to patients simply because they receive assistance from charities.

Are you okay with this?

You see, individuals living with rare, chronic and life-threatening illnesses sometimes rely on non-profit patient assistance programs to help cover the high costs of their health insurance. At no added cost to the public, these programs serve as a crucial part of the health care safety net and help ensure all patients have access to the treatments and services they need to manage their conditions and lead productive lives.

The Good News

The Access to Marketplace Insurance Act (H.R. 3976) was bipartisan legislation introduced in the 115th Congress by then-Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) that would have required health insurance companies to accept payments from non-profit organizations that operate in compliance with the False Claims Act.

The 116th Congress should codify protections to charitable copay and premium assistance and pass legislation to defend the lives and livelihoods of those facing serious conditions that can be better-managed through proper care and innovative therapies.

Therefore, by supporting charitable assistance, Congress can ensure health care coverage that works for everyone.

What Is Advocacy Day?

Advocacy Day is an annual one-day advocacy focused campaign. Last year, 50 patient advocates from 22 states descended upon the nation’s capital to conduct over 120 meetings in an effort to urge congress to protect patient assistance.

Along with UCA, the United for Charitable Assistance, an ad hoc group of patient community leaders that seek to protect access to charitable financial support programs, which serve as a crucial part of the healthcare safety net for individuals with rare, chronic, and life-threatening medical conditions, PSI and many others are set to do it again in 2019 on May 1st.

What Can You Do?

If you are not taking part in Advocacy Day in person, there are still many ways that you can take part and make a difference. From in-person meetings with our nation’s leaders, to writing physical letters to sharing on social media, we WILL make a difference. Are you up for it?

Here are 5 things you can do to take part in advocacy day right where you are:

  1. Write your state congressional leaders, for more info, click here.
  2. On May 1st, share our Advocacy Day posts from Capitol Hill
  3. Use #LetCharitiesBeCharitable and #Passion4Patients hashtag
  4. Tweet your congressional leaders that we’re coming May 1st to meet with them
  5. Share your story, click here.