On Thursday, July 17, 2008, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA) along with Representatives Betty Sutton (OH), Jason Altmire (PA) and James Langevin (RI) introduced H.R. 6528, the Health Insurance Coverage Protection Act, which raises the minimum lifetime cap for private health insurance to $10 million. This bill is identical to the Senate bill (S. 2706) that was introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan in March during NHF’s Washington Days.
- Sets the minimum level of a lifetime cap placed on a group health plan at $5 million for the first two years and $10 million in years three and four.
- Provides for an annual inflationary adjustment to a group insurance plan’s lifetime cap based on the consumer price index in subsequent years.
- Exempts health plans offered to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, but would require that health plans meeting the parameters of the bill be offered to a small business at the employer’s request.
- Calls for an Institute of Medicine Study to determine the number of individuals who reach their lifetime caps.
Introduction of the House bill is a result of the cumulative efforts of the bleeding disorders community. Special recognition goes out to the members of the California chapters who contacted Congresswoman Eshoo and to the Northern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of NHF, and New England Hemophilia Association who visited with Representatives Sutton, Altmire and Langevin during NHF’s Washington Days.
If you haven’t already done so, please contact your U.S. senators and representative to urge them to co-sponsor these important bills, there is still time.