Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc. Files Comments on Interim Final Rules Governing Appeals of Health Plan/Insurance Rulings
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc. (“Advocacy for Patients”) – one of the only organizations in America that files free insurance appeals for consumers with chronic illness nationwide – today filed comments with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Internal Revenue Service (“the Agencies”) both complimenting the Agencies for “the thoughtful approach taken by the Agencies in formulating these complex rules,” and suggesting numerous improvements that should be made.
Advocacy for Patients brings a nuts-and-bolts perspective to the regulations, basing its comments on specific cases it has handled, and asking the Agencies to further refine the rules to ensure that unjust results are eliminated by making the process increasingly fair to consumers.
Here are some of the problems Advocacy for Patients has faced repeatedly:
“Although many insurers are fair and equitable, and take appeals quite seriously,” said Advocacy for Patients’ Executive Director Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq., “insurers too often violate consumers’ rights by losing appeals, informing consumers that they are not allowed to be represented by counsel, refusing to provide a copy of the claim file, and even simply ignoring appeals that were received but not processed.” These failures should be addressed by the new regulations.
Specifically, Advocacy for Patients recommended the following:
“It is particularly important for Advocacy for Patients to comment on these regulations,” said Jaff, “because we are among very few organizations that file health insurance appeals on behalf of consumers nationwide, so we can compare things that work in some States – like Maryland and Massachusetts’ notice provisions – and things that don’t in others – like Delaware’s refusal to hold Blue Cross responsible for its errors.” “Sitting in Washington, it may be difficult to realize how often insurers break the rules because the rules leave room for unfair maneuvers,” said Jaff. “We wrote to bring some of the more day-to-day, but significant, concerns to the forefront of the policy debate.”
Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides free information, advice and advocacy services to patients with chronic illnesses nationwide in areas including health and disability appeals, Social Security disability, employment discrimination, family and medical leave, educational equity, and resource location.
Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness
Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq.
Source: Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc.