|By Marketwired .||
|December 20, 2013 10:00 AM EST|
AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 12/20/13 -- The following is a statement from Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the LIVESTRONG Foundation, in response to today's Texas Department of Insurance public hearing around proposed new rules governing federal health insurance navigators.
"The proposal by the Texas Department of Insurance to put Affordable Care Act navigators through additional training and certifications, beyond the rigorous training and certification process already required, before they can assist with health insurance enrollment would be an unfair, entirely unnecessary and anti-patient roadblock for Texans seeking to make informed opinions about coverage. This act also would hold back organizations like ours that work in the broader field of navigation services, as we fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now.
"At the LIVESTRONG Foundation and through established partnerships, we have highly trained and professional navigators who are helping individuals understand their options for health insurance benefits, whether they are eligible for financial assistance and how to complete the enrollment process. These questions can be overwhelming, especially for those we serve who are already dealing with the struggles and complexities of living with cancer. As an advocate for comprehensive health services for all Americans, we've also held classes and online discussions around Affordable Care Act enrollment.
"However, our even deeper concern with the proposed regulations is the effect they would have on the core mission of the LIVESTRONG Foundation to provide free, direct support services to help people living with cancer cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany a diagnosis. Our navigation specialists are committed to assisting those impacted by cancer through an extremely complicated and difficult time of their lives. To suddenly preclude them, and groups like ours in general, from using the term navigators in any context without jumping through a series of cumbersome new government hoops is insensible. Let's not let a political debate hurt people who urgently need that help.
"We urge the Texas Department of Insurance to reconsider these rules which would impose unnecessary barriers and allow all navigators to keep their focus where it belongs, on the people in need whom they help immeasurably each day."
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.