State Advocates Moving the Ball on Non-Discrimination

Since the first of the year, IHPC has seen its CoverMyCare project involved with important initiatives in Minnesota and New Mexico and beginning to field inquires from a half-dozen states whose integrative professionals are considering similar actions.

CMC_oval_smMost active of the state initiatives is Minnesota Fair Care, or MN Fair Care, which introduced legislation into the state’s shortened legislative session. Even though it may not have sufficient time to pass through committees, it sets the issues before the electorate and potential candidates. This bill is based partly on Section 2706 of the ACA, but strongly deals with network adequacy, with enforcement provisions that Sect. 2706 lacks, and with an innovative treatment for insurance plan deductibles: If passed this bill would allow plan members to use any licensed healthcare provider of their choice, in-plan or not, and make payments to those providers part of their deductible.

Non-D_statesElsewhere, the Superintendent of Insurance in New Mexico is responding to advocates from several disciplines and is hosting a meeting on June 7 to hear directly about their difficulties in attaining credentials and becoming included in insurer plans.

As our US state map shows, almost a dozen states have either enacted legislation (Oregon and Rhode Island), have introduced legislation (Minnesota) or are considering developing their own versions of Sect. 2706. Important to note that in most cases, single discipline state associations are advancing these initiatives.

Perhaps of most consequence: the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, AANP (a Partner for Health member of IHPC), has received a positive response from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicate Services (CMS) regarding documented evidence of discrimination that AANP submitted with six state affiliates at the end of 2015. CMS acknowledged that the examples provided by AANP appeared to violate the provisions of 2706 and said that they planned to contact the state health insurance regulators directly.

This response marks a sea change in the position HHS/CMS has adopted since Section 2706 became law Jan. 1, 2014.

To stay abreast of CoverMyCare’s work with and in the states, see the most current “CMC Update,” and signup using the email register option at the site.

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