Legislation Would Protect Quarter of a Million Americans Who Depend on Charities for Access to Life-Sustaining Healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 12, 2016) – The Marketplace Access Project (MAP), a group of leading national patient advocacy organizations dedicated to protecting non-profit insurance premium assistance for individuals suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses, today announced that it has reached 100 bipartisan cosponsors for the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act (H.R. 3742), commonsense legislation that would protect non-profit patient assistance and allow charities to continue to be charitable. H.R. 3742 would modify the existing rule by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding third-party premium assistance to require health insurers to accept assistance from non-profit charities on behalf of patients.

“Rising healthcare costs are pushing essential treatments and services out of reach for those who need them most. Congress has now taken a significant step toward protecting the quarter of a million Americans whose lives are at stake as a result of this faulty guidance,” said Dana Kuhn, Ph.D., president and founder of Patient Services, Inc., the founding member of MAP. “We urge other members to sign on to this legislation and for Congress to swiftly pass H.R. 3742 and help ensure access to health care for our nation’s most vulnerable patient populations.”

On March 19, 2014, CMS issued federal guidance on third-party insurance payments for the new Exchange plans offered under the ACA. In direct contradiction to the standard currently followed by Medicare, CMS failed to include non-profit charities on the list of acceptable premium arrangements for patients covered by qualified health plans. Insurers across 38 states are now citing this rule to deny coverage to patients by rejecting the premium assistance they were previously receiving from third-party charities, effectively undermining the intent of the ACA. If passed, H.R. 3742, bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), would codify the CMS guidance on third-party payments and modify the rule to require health insurance companies to accept payments from non-profit charity organizations that operate in compliance with the False Claims Act.

“For many patients and families struggling to afford life-saving or life-sustaining care, charitable assistance programs have stepped in to serve as a temporary bridge to care, at no added cost to the public. Yet with its misguided rule, CMS is allowing insurers to reject charitable assistance to patients who must now resort to government-funded health care programs, or risk losing their homes, their jobs, and even their lives,” added Kuhn. “H.R. 3742 is a common-sense patient protection that will allow charities to be charitable.”

For more information on the Marketplace Access Project, visit www.marketplaceaccess.org.
About MAP
The Marketplace Access Project (MAP) is a patient advocacy movement dedicated to protecting non-profit insurance premium assistance for individuals suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses. MAP supports the Access to Marketplace Insurance Act (H.R. 3742), bipartisan legislation that would secure non-profit premium assistance for patients enrolled in qualified health plans and help ensure health care coverage that works for everyone. For more information, visit www.marketplaceaccess.org, or follow MAP on Twitter (@AccessProjectUS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplaceaccess).