As the 117th session of Congress continues in 2022, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is keeping pressure on legislators to improve the lives of people affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH). PHA’s advocacy can’t be successful without the PH community.

Learn about three PHA legislative priorities and how to join the fight:

The Safe Step Act (S. 464, H.R. 2163) would prevent insurance companies from requiring patients to switch to new medications from their current therapies. It also would require an expedited step-therapy appeals process. Thanks to PHA’s PH Professional Network Advocacy Day participants and other advocates, the Safe Step Act has 29 co-sponsors in the House and 108 in the Senate.

The Help Ensure Lower Patient Copays Act (HELP Copays Act, H.R. 5801) addresses a loophole some health insurance companies use to “double-dip” on copays though copay accumulator programs. Insurance plans with accumulators accept payments from copay cards or other financial assistance sources but don’t apply those payments toward deductibles. People subject to accumulator policies are responsible for their full deductibles after their financial assistance runs out. The HELP Copays Act closes this loophole so insurance companies will have to pay their fair share.

In 2021, Connecticut enacted a law to ban accumulators, thanks to advocacy from the PH community. Both state and federal action are important on this issue, and personal stories from the community are essential to success.

The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 1512, H.R. 2903), would permanently waive restrictions on technology and locations required for telehealth. It would allow home telehealth appointments after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. PHA has been advocating for expanded access to telehealth since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The CONNECT for Health Act now has 116 co-sponsors in the House and 61 in the Senate.

Visit PHA’s action center to let your members of Congress why these bills matter.

If step therapy requirements are preventing you from getting the PH medication your specialist prescribed, or if you have trouble paying for your PH therapy because of a copay accumulator, contact PHA to share your story. Email us or call 301-565-3004 x758.