WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) today reintroduced the Chronic Disease Management Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) that are used with health savings accounts (HSAs) can cover care related to chronic disease management prior to a beneficiary reaching their plan deductible. The bill would also help address the impacts of chronic diseases by allowing patients that are enrolled in HDHPs greater flexibility in accessing the care they need.
“By expanding what qualifies as preventive services, more folks living with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure can get coverage for the services and medications they need to manage their condition, helping improve quality of life,” said Thune. “I’m proud to support this legislation that would help individuals living with chronic diseases avoid the need for higher-cost treatments down the road.”
“On average, six out of ten Americans battle chronic diseases every day, and need access to preventative care to stay healthy,” said Carper. “This bipartisan bill will allow patients to get the care they need to manage their chronic conditions without worrying about their bill before an emergency episode occurs. The bill will also tackle health disparities because high deductibles disproportionately impact patients that are chronically ill, low-income, and people of color. It’s a win for patients, and I’m proud to reintroduce this common-sense bill with Senator Thune.”
“This common-sense legislation would help patients, employers, and payers alike, including through improved health, enhanced workplace productivity, and the avoidance of unnecessary emergency care visits and hospitalizations,” said Katy Spangler, co-director of the Smarter Health Care Coalition.
In July 2019, the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice expanding its interpretation of what constitutes preventive care to include certain items and services that are prescribed to someone with certain chronic conditions. Those items or services can be considered preventive when they are prescribed to an individual with certain chronic conditions and if they are low-cost and prevent the worsening of a chronic condition or the development of a secondary condition.