#MEAction Supports Health Care at Home Act

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#MEAction is excited to announce our support of the Health Care at Home Act, which increases telemedicine opportunities during the pandemic.

Telemedicine enables people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) to access their healthcare professionals without leaving home, which can mean the difference between being able to access a doctor or not for some people with ME. Access to compassionate care, like telemedicine, is core to #MEAction’s Mission and Vision!  

During the Covid-19 emergency, people with ME have been able to utilize telemedicine as insurance companies and doctors have begun to rely on this service to treat patients. #MEAction has signed-on to a letter of support along with many medical organizations, with the hope this Act will be added to the next coronavirus relief bill.

This Act will establish telemedicine reforms for any group health plans and health insurance issuers that are providing group or individual coverage for the duration of the federal Covid-19 emergency:

* Any “medical necessary” treatments that would be covered by insurance for in-person visits must also be covered when provided through telemedicine. This includes audio visits, as well.
* Block restrictions on what conditions can be treated via telemedicine.
* Doctors reimbursed equally for telemedicine as they would for in-person visits.

The Health Care at Home Act (H.R. 6644) was introduced in the House with a bipartisan effort led by Rep. Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA8) and Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01). The Act in House has an additional 15 bipartisan co-sponsors. Additionally, Sen. Tina Smith (MN) submitted a companion bill (S 3741) in the Senate and already eight senators have agreed to co-sponsor.

Join #MEAction is showing your support for this bill by either thanking your member of Congress for their support or asking them to sign-on in support!

To thank your members of Congress, here is a list of current House and Senate co-sponsors.

Here is sample THANK YOU tweet:
 “@{MemberofCongress} THANK YOU for co-sponsoring the #HealthCareAtHomeAct! As a person with ME, access to a wider range of services provided by telemedicine is crucial to my health during a pandemic. Your support means a lot! @MEActNet #pwME #telemedicine”

If your member of Congress was not on the above list, tweet at them to ask for their support:

Here is a sample ASK FOR SUPPORT tweet:
“@{HouseMember}, please support the #HealthCareAtHomeAct HR6644! As a person with ME, access to a wider range of services provided by telemedicine is crucial to my health during a pandemic. Your support would mean a lot! @MEActNet #pwME #telemedicine”

“@{Senator}, please support the #HealthCareAtHomeAct S3741! As a person with ME, access to a wider range of services provided by telemedicine is crucial to my health during a pandemic. Your support would mean a lot! @MEActNet #pwME #telemedicine”

To find your Member of Congress:

We recognize this bill does not help everyone with ME as it is focused around insurance and these specific reforms are set to expire after the Covid-19 emergency. However, there is hope that once people become more familiar and accustomed with telemedicine and its advantages, these reforms and other advances in telemedicine will remain beyond the pandemic. This is something that #MEAction hopes to leverage in the future.

As always, #MEAction will continue to fight for easier access to care both on the federal and local levels. 

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