“Advocacy Today and Tomorrow” was the title of a session presented at this year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago in November. Ellen Riker, NHF’s Washington Representative, provided updates on the political environment at the federal level and how changes being proposed may affect the bleeding disorders community.
Paul Tibbits, Team Leader, Health Insurance Assistance Team, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), provided a general overview of healthcare reform and the patient protections that have already gone into effect. He indicated that these protections should now be included in most consumer health plans (for example, no lifetime dollar limits and extension of dependent coverage until age 26). Tibbits also shared information on changes that are scheduled to occur in 2014, such as tax credits for middle class and small businesses, and elimination of annual limits.
Tibbits stated that consumer assistance programs (CAPs) have been created in 27 states, in DC and in the territories. These programs are designed to assist consumers with questions or concerns about their health plans and to educate them about their rights in obtaining and maintaining a health insurance plan. For more information about the impact of health reform on those with bleeding disorders please click here.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Consumer Assistance Programs, please visit the Web site: www.healthcare.gov.
During the educational session, Michelle Rice, NHF Regional Director of Chapter Services, discussed the importance of understanding your insurance options prior to choosing a health plan. NHF has created a Personal Health Insurance Toolkit to assist you in your evaluation. To obtain a copy of the toolkit go to: www.hemophilia.org and click on the link in the “Helping Consumers” box.