The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943)! This legislation included language to improve the coverage of medical foods such as elemental formula for TRICARE recipients. TRICARE is the health care program for uniformed service members and their families. The bill will be considered by the Senate next week and if it passes, will go for Presidential signature.
APFED is honored to have advocated alongside other stakeholders on Capitol Hill for this legislation, and to have contributed to grassroot efforts for public support. We are deeply appreciative of all of those who worked so hard on this legislation, and to the many families who shared their stories and wrote letters and made phone calls to lawmakers.
Our work continues to ensure that those who have been prescribed elemental formula to treat eosinophil-associated diseases have affordable access to it. We are hopeful that enactment of this legislation will drive forward the efforts for expanded coverage through public and private insurers, and through Medicare and Medicaid.
TAKE ACTION !
Call to action: help TRICARE patients obtain medically necessary foods
TRICARE is the health care program for uniformed service members and their families. Each year, Congress passes a defense authorization bill, which directs federal spending for the operations of the Department of Defense, and addresses military policy, including those relevant to the TRICARE program. Current TRICARE coverage policy for medically-necessary foods has been reported to be open to interpretation, which often results in delayed or denied coverage of nutrition therapy.
Legislative language requiring TRICARE to cover medically necessary foods for digestive and inherited metabolic disorders has been included in the Senate version of fiscal year 2017 defense bill — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), S. 2943. APFED joined other patient advocates to meet with the staff of NDAA committee members to urge support of Sec. 704 of the Senate National Defense Authorization Act, and now we need YOUR help!
We strongly encourage our patient community to contact the committee members and staff in support of the Senate medically necessary foods language. Below is a list of whom to contact, as well as a template communication for you to use and customize to tell your story. Passage of this legislation is an important step, as it could serve as a rallying point for future efforts of expanded coverage nationwide.
⇒ Stakeholder Template Letter (.doc)
⇒ NDAA Conferee Contacts (PDF)