Patient advocacy groups allege discrimination by health insurers against those with chronic diseases

Several patient advocacy groups focused on AIDs, leukemia, epilepsy and other diseases have alleged that health insurers are violating the Affordable Care Act by discriminating against those with chronic diseases, and the groups are pressing the Department of Health and Human Services to respond, according to an article from The Hill.
Groups such as the National Health Law Program and the AIDS Institute have filed complaints with the administration claiming insurers are in violation of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that prevent them from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions and chronic diseases.

They argue certain drugs are put on higher tiers, requiring patients with chronic diseases to pay bigger out-of-pocket costs. In some cases, they say, the co-pay for such drugs can be 30 percent or higher.[1]
The pharmaceutical industry is apparently siding with the patient advocacy groups, as lobbying groups like the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have also questioned insurers' co-pay practices.[2]

One of the largest health insurance lobbying groups, America's Health Plans, has responded "by arguing that patients have the option to select a range of health plans that may suit their budgets better," according to The Hill.

Read the full article:
1HHS pressed on insurance discrimination claims, Ferdous Al-Faruque; The Hill; August 18, 2014.
2HHS pressed on insurance discrimination claims; Ferdous Al-Faruque; The Hill; August 18, 2014.

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