I Am Essential Coalition Comments on 1332 Waiver Guidance
On December 23, 2018, the I Am Essential coalition submitted comments on the new guidance for 1332 waivers to express concerns that the proposal would have negative impacts on the health of individuals, particuarly those living with chronic and serious conditions. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential Comment Letter - Section 1332 Waivers (December 23, 2018)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 102 Patient Groups in I Am Essential Letter to Urge HHS to Reduce Patient Cost-Sharing for Prescription Drugs
On July 16, 2018, the Epilepsy Foundation signed onto a comment letter with 102 patient and community organizations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the President's Blueprint to lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. The letter addresses proposals contained in the Request for Information that focus on efforts to reduce patient cost-sharing for prescription drugs in qualified health plans. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential - Comment Letter - HHS Blueprint (July, 16, 2018)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 97 Patient Groups in I Am Essential Letter Opposing Proposed Rule on Short-Term, Limited Duration Plans
On April 23, 2018, the Epilepsy Foundation signed onto a comment letter with 97 patient groups to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed rule that would expand the scope and applicability of short-term, limited-duration insurance plans (short-term plans). The rule, if finalized, would have a crippling effect on individuals’ healthcare, particularly those living with chronic and serious conditions, since the plans would not be subject to the regulations and requirements of the ACA and could expose beneficiaries to harmful practices and substandard health benefit design. Additionally, it would have long-lasting implications on the stability of the health insurance market. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential - Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance Proposed Rule Comment Letter (April 23, 2018)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 118 Patient Groups in I Am Essential Letter to Object to Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans
On March 6, 2018, the Epilepsy Foundation signed onto a comment letter with 118 patient groups to the U.S. Department of Labor expressing strong concerns with a proposed rule that would expand the scope and applicability of association health plans (AHPs). The rule was proposed in response to President Trump’s October 2017 executive order directing agencies to change existing regulations to provide consumers with more options for health care coverage.
Since AHPs do not have to abide by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) consumer protections and insurance market rules, the patient groups wrote that the proposed rule would “negatively impact access to quality, affordable care for consumers, disrupt the individual and small group markets, and further strain the limited resources of state regulators.” Read the letter below.
I Am Essential - Association Health Plans Comment Letter (March 6, 2018)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 138 Patient Groups in I Am Essential Letter to Oppose HHS Proposal to Scale Back Future Essential Health Benefits
On November 27, 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation signed onto a comment letter with 138 patient and community organizations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The letter emphasizes concerns over the proposed rule, Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019, which would allow states to scale back essential health benefits insurers must offer to their beneficiaries in the future. I Am Essential urges HHS to maintain the current process for states to select their essential health benefits. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential - Letter to HHS on NBPP (November 27, 2017)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins I Am Essential Letter to Sens. Alexander and Murray on Bipartisan ACA Efforts
On September 30, 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation, who co-leads the I Am Essential coalition, sent a letter to Sens. Alexander and Murray - who lead the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions - thanking them for holding hearings and pursuing legislation to stablize the small group and individual insurance market under the ACA. I Am Essential encouraged them consider important patient protections and access to benefits that are critical for all Americans, especially those living with chronic and serious conditions, when continuing to work on this issue. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential - Letter to Senators Alexander and Murray (September 13, 2017)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 132 Patient & Community Organizations in I Am Essential Letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
On July 12, 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation, our affiliates, and dozens of additional patient and community groups joined an I Am Essential letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offering suggestions on ways to reduce regulatory burdens and improve healthcare choices to empower patients. The letter stressed the importance of ACA patient protections, and urged HHS not to make regulatory changes that would undermine these protections. Read the letter below.
IAE Letter to HHS (July 12, 2017)
Washington Examiner Highlights I Am Essential Press Release in Article on CMS Plans to Review Fewer ACA Plans' Drug Formularies
On April 17, 2017, the Washington Examiner published, "White House to Pull Back Obamacare Oversight," an article on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)'s announcement that it will review fewer ACA marketplace plans for drug coverage and will instead rely on states to conduct these complicated reviews. The story highlights I Am Essential's press release on the 2018 Letter to Issuers.
Read the article here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-to-pull-back-obamacare-oversight/article/2620346
I Am Essential Issues Press Release with Concerns About Limited CCIIO Drug Coverage Review
On April 14, 2017, the I Am Essential coalition sent out a press release expressing concern with the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO)'s announcement it will no longer review drug coverage for all qualified health plans. CCIIO will instead rely on states to conduct these complicated reviews to ensure that plan design does not discriminate against patients. Enforcement of patient protections is critical for ensuring individuals can access the medications they need to manage their conditions and many states simply do not have the laws and regulations in place to protect patients against bad practices.
View the full release below.
IAE Press Release - CCIO Prescription Drug Coverage Review (April 14, 2017)
Wall Street Journal Highlights I Am Essential Letter in Article on Patient Responses to ACA Repeal Efforts
On March 8, 2017, the Wall Street Journal published "Patients Prepare for Life After Obamacare," an article summarizing the effect of proposed ACA repeals on patients with special health conditions and highlighting the I Am Essential coalition letter to HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price.
Read the article here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/patients-prepare-for-life-after-obamacare-1489004714.
I Am Essential Comments on ACA Market Stabilization Proposed Rule
The I Am Essential coalition submitted comments to the ACA Market Stabilization proposed rule on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. This proposed rule was drafted by the Department of Health and Human Services under the new administration. It proposes to make changes to the rules of business within the ACA Marketplaces including the length of time for open enrollment, processes around special enrollment periods, and requirements of actuarial values for particular plans. Read the comment below.
IAE Comment on ACA Market Stabilization Rule (March 7, 2017)
Epilepsy Foundation Joins 200 Patient Advocacy Groups in Letter to HHS Secretary Price
The Epilepsy Foundation, as a leader of the I Am Essential coalition, joined 200 patient groups, including all Epilepsy Foundation chapters and affiliates across the country, in sending a February 10, 2017 letter to recently confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Tom Price, urging him to maintain existing patient protections enacted in the Affordable Care Act. It is especially important to advocate for patient protections like the Essential Health Benefits and patient access to prescription drugs their providers prescribe as Congress and the Administration consider changes to current healthcare laws and regulations.
IAE Letter to HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price (Feb. 10, 2017)
Read the I Am Essential press release on the February 10 letter here.
I Am Essential Urges HHS Secretary Burwell to Ensure Patient Protection Compliance in 2016 Healthcare Plans
On May 15, 2015, the I Am Essential coalition sent the below letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell urging her to conduct a thorough review of the 2016 plans and reject those that do not comply with new patient protections included in the most recent Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016. More than 215 organizations spoke in a united voice urging improved access to care and plan transparency as well as warning against discriminatory practices such as high patient cost-sharing and excessive use of prior authorization and other medical management techniques. Read the letter below.
I Am Essential Letter to Secretary Burwell on Qualified Health Plans (May 15, 2015)