Category Archives: Policy Priorities

american health care act advocacy

Senate Health Bills Fall Short for Arthritis Community

The Senate is expected to open debate today on two bills that repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Tell your senator to vote no and work to write a health bill that serves patients!

Not getting health insurance because you have a pre-existing condition.

Thousands upon thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs every year with no end in sight.

Fear of reaching your maximum lifetime benefit because you take expensive drugs or had multiple surgeries and hospital stays.

This is what life looked like for many people before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed into law in 2010. While the ACA is far from perfect, it offers critical protections like caps on annual out-of-pocket spending, a ban on lifetime coverage limits, a prohibition on pre-existing conditions exclusions and minimum essential health benefits like prescription drugs and hospitalizations.

Continue reading Senate Health Bills Fall Short for Arthritis Community

Texas Step Therapy Win

Victory in Texas – Legislation Limits Step Therapy

Exciting news in Texas! On May 23, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 680 into law, limiting the use of step therapy. Texas now joins a growing number of states that have enacted laws that regulate the use of step therapy. With over 4 million adults and 24,900 kids with doctor-diagnosed arthritis in Texas, this is a major victory!

Step therapy is used by health insurance providers to control the order and use of prescriptions drugs. A patient could be required to try and fail lower-cost or other drugs selected by their insurance provider before coverage is granted for the drug prescribed by the patient’s treating physician. For patients, this barrier to care prevents timely access to doctor prescribed treatments and can be the difference between full mobility and joint damage.
Continue reading Victory in Texas – Legislation Limits Step Therapy

Maryland Biosimilars Advocacy

Victory for Maryland! Biosimilar Bill Signed by the Governor!

We applaud Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for joining 28 other states in creating a pathway for the substitution of biologic medications with biosimilars by signing the Pharmacists – Substitution and Dispensing of Biological Products bill into law.

Biologics are life altering drugs for people with arthritis and are very complex products made with living cells. Because of this complexity they are expensive. Biosimilars, are a new class of drugs that are similar to biologics. They have the potential to lower medication costs.
Continue reading Victory for Maryland! Biosimilar Bill Signed by the Governor!

california-advocacy-summit

California Advocates Work for Passage of Bill That Will Improve Continuity of Care When Insurance Carrier Changes

It’s not uncommon for patients to change their insurance carriers. Sometimes it’s by choice, perhaps because they find a carrier that better suits their needs. Other times, it might be out of their control, like when their employment changes. Regardless of why carriers are changed, should patients be required to restart the utilization management process with their new insurance carrier, essentially starting over and potentially undoing years of effective and consistent care? Continue reading California Advocates Work for Passage of Bill That Will Improve Continuity of Care When Insurance Carrier Changes

Iowa State Capitol

Victory in Iowa! Governor Branstad Signs into Law a Bill to Curb Step Therapy!

The Iowa arthritis community is celebrating Governor Branstad signing into law House File 233 on May 10, 2017.

The bill, unanimously passed by both chambers, puts limits on an insurance industry protocol known as step therapy which requires patients to try and fail medications identified by the insurance company before agreeing to cover medications prescribed by the treating physician. The bill will increase access to care for arthritis patients by limiting step therapy practices in Iowa.
Continue reading Victory in Iowa! Governor Branstad Signs into Law a Bill to Curb Step Therapy!

ICER RA Treatment Review

Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

On Friday March 24, after many months of review, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) held a public meeting in Boston, MA to discuss evidence findings on treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ICER is a non-profit organization that reviews the effectiveness of medications and their costs.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

Pennsylvania Capitol Day

35 Attend Capitol Day in Pennsylvania Advocating for Prior Authorization and Copay Cap Bills

Families, physicians and patients gathered in Harrisburg, PA on March 28 to learn more about potential legislation that could affect access to care and meet with their legislators to enlist their help. They shared their stories with legislators and asked them to cosponsor the prior authorization bill and the copay cap bill. It was an impactful day of relationship building using personal stories to communicate the urgent need for support and passage of these bills.
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West Virginia Step Therapy

Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!

Step therapy is a cost saving tactic used by insurers that requires people with arthritis and other potentially debilitating conditions to try and fail lower-cost medications before covering more expensive treatments. In other words, insurance companies oftentimes disregard treating physicians’ knowledge of their patients and related expertise, forcing patients to try cheaper medications, all to save a few dollars.
Continue reading Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!