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ACS CAN: Proposed health plan rule changes could increase patient costs

On Feb. 19,  the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, which would set the rules for health care plans in 2020.

The proposed rule includes several changes which would leave patients paying more for health coverage, including a formula change that would reduce the amount of subsidies available to those who purchase plans on the exchange – and therefore would increase monthly premiums for many – and increase the annual maximum out of pocket costs for people enrolled in exchange and employer-sponsored plans.

The rule would also make numerous changes to requirements for prescription drug coverage, some of which could make it easier for plans to discriminate against people with serious health conditions like cancer or make it prohibitively expensive for such patients to enroll in coverage.

A statement from ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse, follows:

"We have serious concerns that these changes, if they are implemented, would result in fewer people being able to afford comprehensive health care coverage and more people becoming uninsured.

"Cancer patients and survivors depend on access to quality health care that covers the things they need at a cost they can afford. The changes being proposed in this rule threaten to make that care more expensive and potentially more difficult to obtain.

"We urge the administration to reject these changes and work with stakeholders to make comprehensive health coverage more affordable and available without shifting more costs onto patients."

Read the full comments on the 2020 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters.

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