On October 22, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance that allows states to waive key protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and promote less comprehensive insurance plans like short-term, limited-duration insurance plans and association health plans.
Specifically, under the guidance, states can now let individuals use premium subsidies to purchase these less comprehensive plans, further contributing to the instability of the insurance marketplace and higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. In advance of the midterm elections, we encourage you to learn more about your candidates' health care positions and how they would impact people with cystic fibrosis.
The CF Foundation and 28 patient and consumer groups representing millions of people nationwide with pre-existing health conditions issued the following statement in response to administration guidance issued on October 22 that gives states greater ability to skirt patient protections included in the Affordable Care Act:
The guidance issued by the administration gives states free rein to undermine critical protections for millions of Americans living with pre-existing conditions. Issued under the guise of “state flexibility,” the guidance allows states to approve the sale of cheap, inadequate health insurance plans that can eliminate coverage of pre-existing conditions, charge premiums based on health status, or reject patients altogether. This guidance also greenlights changes that are likely to make it harder for patients and consumers to distinguish between comprehensive coverage and products that do not cover prescription medications, maternity care, or other critical services. Further, states will also be able to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize the purchase of these substandard insurance plans.
This dangerous action could take us back to the days when people with pre-existing conditions were openly discriminated against and blatantly denied access to lifesaving care.
Our organizations advocate for everyone with pre-existing conditions to have access to healthcare that is affordable, adequate, and accessible. We are deeply disappointed that this guidance undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and we urge the administration to withdraw it immediately.
Patient and Consumer Groups
Adult Congenital Heart Association
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Global Healthy Living Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
Mended Little Hearts
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Health Council
National Hemophilia Foundation
National Organization for Rare Disorders
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation
Susan G. Komen
United Ostomy Associations of America Inc.
United Way Worldwide
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease