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Congress Should Protect Premium Assistance for Individuals Living with Chronic Conditions

Dana A. Kuhn   |   March 30, 2016

Congress took an historic step to prevent health insurers from discriminating against patients with pre-existing conditions when it passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Unfortunately, recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) may be inadvertently creating a new ‘pre-existing condition’ that is keeping essential treatments and services out of reach for patients who need them the most.

For individuals living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, the costs to simply maintain their health insurance can be prohibitive. For many of those individuals and their families, charitable non-profit premium assistance programs step in to provide a temporary safety net to patients who couldn’t otherwise afford their high premium payments each month – a service that can often mean the difference between life and death. These critical programs not only help to maintain the health and financial stability of the patient, but they do so with charitable donations rather than through precious government or taxpayer funds.

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