International Myeloma Foundation
Advocacy Update | February 2021
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Biden’s CMS Nominee
President Joe Biden has nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure has extensive experience working in health policy and has overseen both the drafting and implementation of the Affordable Care Act while serving in the Obama Administration and working on Capitol Hill. Her nomination would have her working alongside President Biden’s choice to head HHS, current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, should they both be confirmed by the Senate. We will continue to provide updates as the confirmation process advances.
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IMF Supports Group Efforts to Safeguard Medicare’s 6 Protected Classes
On February 4th and 5th, IMF supported coalition letters sent to HHS Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra opposing a proposal that would modify Medicare’s protected classes policy.

As background, Medicare’s 6 Protected Classes policy requires Medicare plans to provide coverage of “all or substantially all drugs” within a class, including antineoplastic drugs, which are often used to treat cancer. This policy was created to ensure that patients who depend on certain medications are able to access their medications without barriers.

Policy changes pertaining to Medicare’s protected classes are particularly important to patients with myeloma because many patients are treated with combination therapies. Our patient population would be adversely impacted if health plans had the ability to opt not to provide coverage of these drugs. To view the letters, click HERE and HERE.
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Obamacare Exchanges Reopened-Special Enrollment Period
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Healthcare.gov Marketplace would reopen on February 15th and remain open through May 15th. Many states with state-based marketplaces will open special enrollment periods as well.

President Biden has taken this action via an executive order in hopes that people who are currently uninsured will use this opportunity to purchase health coverage. It has also been noted that subsidies will be available for many people to help with the affordability of marketplace coverage. Those in favor of this action have cited the impacts of COVID-19 and private or employer-based insurance coverage losses as a top reason for needing to reopen the exchanges.

If you or someone you know is in need of coverage, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/ to learn more and review your options.
 

Want to get involved?

Interested in learning more or taking actions about our federal and/or state priorities? Email the IMF Advocacy Team, advocacy@myeloma.org, to find out ways you can help and make your voice heard. Find us on the Twitter and Facebook! We will be sharing the latest news on legislation and policies we are tracking. And follow @Chemoparity for updates on our fight to get oral parity passed at the state and federal levels.
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