SB 1045 is the ACS Fair Copayment Bill. It is expected to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Feb. 5, 2014 and so the time for calls and emails begins now. The bill states:
"A health insurer may not impose as a limitation on treatment or level of coverage a copayment, coinsurance or deductible amount that is charged to the insured for services provided by a portal of entry health care provider licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 8 or 19 (Chapter 8 is DCs and 19 is PTs) that is higher than the copayment, coinsurance or deductible amount that is charged to the insured for the services of a portal of entry health care provider for the same medically necessary treatment or condition. 'Portal of entry health care provider' means a person from whom a patient may receive services and insurance coverage for those services without a referral from a physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17." (Chapter 13 is MDs, 17 is DOs)
As of 01/13/14, SB 1045 had been assigned to the Senate Health and Senate Appropriations Committees, both of which it will have to pass to be considered by the full Senate. The insurance industry has so much influence at the legislature that when a bill is adverse to the industry, they are able to get it assigned to two committees rather than only one to make it harder to pass the bill. We are prepared to fight and win in both committees.
Here are the Senate Health and Human Service Committee members and their districts with contact information:
Sen. Nancy Barto: District 15 Northeast Phoenix bounded by Scottsdale Rd. on the East, 59th Ave. on the West, Bell Rd. on the South, Carefree Hwy. on the North. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-5766.
Sen. Judy Burges: District 22 Northwest Phoenix bounded by 101 Ave. and N. Lake Pleasant Rd. on the East, N. Perryville Rd. on the West, Bell Rd. on the South, Lake Pleasant Rd. and North Maricopa County on the North. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-5861
Sen. David Bradley: District 10 East Tucson along all of E. Broadway, E. Speedway, E. 22nd St., E. Golf Links Rd., E. Tanque Verde Rd., and Wilmot Rd. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-5262
Sen. Katie Hobbs: District 24 Central Phoenix bounded by N. 48th St. on the East, N. Central Ave. on the West, E. Camelback Rd. on the North, and I-10 on the South. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-5325.
Sen. Ed Ableser: District 26 Tempe area bounded by McKellips Rd. on the North, Baseline on the South, 48th St. on the West and Gilbert Rd. on the East. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-4118.
Sen. Kelli Ward: District 5 Mohave County west to the Colorado River including Kingman, Bullhead, Lake Havasu City. Contact email@example.com or 602-926-4138.
Sen. Kimberly Yee: District 20 North Central Phoenix bounded by I-17 on the East, W. Bell Rd. on the South, N. 101 Freeway on the West and W. 101 Freeway on the North. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-926-3024.
For exact information about which district you live and work in, go to www.azleg.gov and click on How Do I Find My Legislators and enter your home address to find the link to your Legislative, not Congressional, district. Then go to the AZ Legislature home page and go to Senate Members and search for your district to find your Senator.
If you live or work in the districts of any of these Senators, you and your patients, staff and family must inundate them with emails and calls stating the following: "Please vote yes on SB 1045, the Fair Copayment Act, so that patients can afford to get all of the chiropractic care they need. This is currently impossible with specialist level copayments of $50 or more per visit. Chiropractors are not specialists like orthopedic surgeons who you only need to see a few times a year. Chiropractic is needed multiple times a month for a few months and specialist level copays make this unaffordable. Thank you."
There are now nine days before the hearing and if everyone does their job with calls and emails then we will win the vote. It's up to you! Call ACS at 602-368-9496 with any questions.