2017 Health Care Principles

Partners for Better Care (“Partners”) is a coalition led by patients and their allies advocating for the next generation of healthcare. Our members are patient advocacy organizations and a diverse group of healthcare stakeholders, including industry and payers, who are working together with policymakers to develop the best solutions to today’s healthcare challenges. Partners represents more than 100 million patients living with a wide range of chronic and acute conditions, and we believe that Americans should have access to the necessary care to improve their health and the health of their families.

With the strong backbone of our nonpartisan Patient Charter, Partners’ members developed 2017 health care principles. As experts on patient-centered care, Partners and its members are proud to serve as a resource to policymakers and thought leaders. We remain committed to working with Congress, the Administration and other healthcare stakeholders to advance the following priorities:

  1. Ensure health plans provide meaningful coverage and an appropriate scope of benefits. All plans – whether offered by employers or provided through the private or public market, including Medicare and Medicaid—must include coverage of preventive services, tools for management of chronic conditions, coordinated care and specialist care, innovative therapies and technologies, and mental health services
  2. Ensure access to quality care by preventing pre-existing conditions and rating restrictions, as well as maintaining diverse risk pools and restricting plans from excluding or limiting coverage for one type of patient or condition. We must ensure that all individuals, particularly those with chronic conditions, cannot be denied coverage, charged unreasonable premiums or denied renewability.
  3. Enhance affordability and reduce out-of-pocket costs by maintaining subsidies and seeking new, creative mechanisms to limit cost shifting to patients.
  4. Maintain the ban on annual and lifetime limits to ensure patients and their families receive needed medical care throughout the year and over a lifetime. For patients, annual and lifetime caps on treatments, therapies, and other care can contribute to significant complications, including limiting the ability to work.
  5. Continue to allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan through age 26, which makes health insurance easier to obtain and more affordable for all. Young people living with debilitating conditions need consistent, affordable and accessible treatments and therapies.
  6. Ensure quality Medicare and Medicaid coverage so our nation’s seniors, disabled and low-income individuals in all states have access to the coverage, services and care they need.
  7. Encourage value, quality and cost innovations through the development of patient-centered approaches that incorporate the patient experience as well as data on policy development and value strategies.

Partners and its members believe that every American should have access to affordable, high-quality, patient-centered coverage in 2017 and beyond. We look forward to working with other healthcare stakeholders, Congress, the Administration and leaders on both sides of the aisle to ensure that changes to the health system work for all Americans, especially those living with debilitating conditions.  For more information about Partners, our healthcare principles or Patient Charter, please visit PartnersforBetterCare.org or contact Mary Richards, Executive Director, at MRichards@PartnersforBetterCare.org.