Rare Perspectives Podcast Special: Protect Life-Saving Charitable Assistance

Jul 22, 2020 | News and Events


This week on Rare Perspectives, we caught up with PSI’s Nathan Thomson, who works with our government relations and advocacy team. In this episode, you’ll get to learn more about not only who Nathan is and what brought him to PSI, but also about a critical piece of legislation that we need your help with.

You can listen to or watch our conversation with Nathan here:

YouTube – https://bit.ly/3jyjMAS

During our conversation, Nathan shared with us a critical piece of legislation and what you, the audience, can do to help get the word out. Here’s an excerpt from this episode of Rare Perspectives:

“Well, I think the biggest thing that’s going on right now, and if you’re a PSI patient, you may have received some emails for me over the last few weeks – there is legislation that we are hoping will be introduced in the very near future that’s going to be called the Emergency Access to Marketplace Insurance Act. In 2014, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put out guidance that did not include non-profit charities on the list of entities that can provide third-party assistance. So, what does that mean? That means that in 42 out of 50 states right now, if PSI helps you pay your premium or your church helps you pay your premium, your health insurer can remove you from your insurance. This is a tremendous problem, especially for charitable systems patients.

“You know, a lot of this stuff can be an overwhelming amount of cost, and that is why PSI is here as a last resort for people. But we’ve been working and Jim Romano’s been working on this for years now. I’ve only been on it for the last year and a half, but we have been working to try to bring a solution. Fast forward to a few years ago. There was a bill introduced called the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act. It garnered, I believe, 178 co-sponsors. Unfortunately, it didn’t move forward. You know, when you try to go from A to B in the federal government you end up having to do the whole alphabet twice before you can get there. But, here’s the solution. Kevin Cramer from North Dakota is our champion on this issue and his office is going to be putting out a bill called the Emergency Access to Marketplace Insurance Act and it’s going to be part of this coronavirus situation that we’re in that would allow payments on behalf of individuals by nonprofit organizations for the duration of this public health emergency.”

We invite you to listen to the full conversation and tell us what you think. You can make a difference in supporting this call to action. 

PSI serves as a vital safety net for many patients who need assistance affording their health care. Many of our patients have no other option. Unfortunately, 42 states are allowed to deny coverage to patients simply because they receive charitable assistance, and when that’s combined with COVID-19 and the fact that 5.4 million laid-off Americans recently lost their health insurance, it’s clear that now is the time for action.

We are asking each of you to contact your senators and urge them to co-sponsor the Emergency Access to Marketplace Insurance Act to show they stand with those living with chronic disease. This provision would be included in the latest COVID-19 package and will allow PSI and other charitable organizations to provide health insurance premium assistance through Dec. 31, 2021.

This only takes a few minutes! Follow this link to easily contact your senatorshttps://bit.ly/3ftVG7N

We also ask that you like/share this call to action on Facebook: https://bit.ly/2WpaME9  

Please share these links with your friends, family, and network, too. Now is the time to stand with the chronic illness community. We want to ensure PSI can help as many patients as possible.

Together, we will make a difference.

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