Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF
Vice-President of Government Relations
HIPAA Loophole Fix UPDATE
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that legislation to close the loophole that allows insurance providers to discriminate against motorcyclists when it comes to fully funding benefits is beginning to gain some momentum. The House bill (HR 1076) has 45 co-sponsors, while the Senate bill (S 616) has 3 co-sponsors. As a rule, Senators don’t co-sponsor legislation as frequently as their House counterparts. However, that certainly does not mean we should not ask them at every opportunity.
“The impressive part of the list of House co-sponsors is that over half of them are Representatives from states that sent SMRO grassroots lobbyists to DC this year,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF).
Over the past few months MI, WA, WI, NM, NY, NJ, OH, PA, CO, IA, AK, MN, and IL have all sent representatives from their respective State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations to Washington DC to lobby for the advancement of this issue. Those visits resulted in over 200 individual, sit-down office meetings with Senators, House Members and staff.
US Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX), the bill sponsor, had this to say, “No one should be denied health insurance benefits because they prefer to drive a motorcycle. It is essential to provide health care benefits to those who have slipped through the loophole by protecting their access to substantive health care.”
The legislation would close a loophole in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that denies health care benefits for those who participate in legal transportation and recreational activities. In January 2001, a rule was issued that was intended to ensure non-discrimination in health coverage in the group market. That rule prohibits health plans and issuers from denying coverage to individuals who engage in certain types of recreational activities such as skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling or motorcycling. However, because of the way the rule was written, it has allowed insurers to deny health benefits for an otherwise covered injury that results from participation in these activities.
“Now is the time to take this ground swell of support to the next level,” said Jeff Hennie. He adds, “Phone calls, e-mails and personal visits with your members of the US House and Senate are needed to keep the push on Washington.”
You can find contact information for your US Senators and Members of the House of Representatives at the following websites: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov or by phoning the US Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
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(c)All Information contained
in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction
permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated
in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights
organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists'
rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC,
the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted
exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early
1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause
of rider safety and rider freedom.
The MRF proudly claims state
motorcyclists' rights organizations and the
very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading
members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and
regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public
awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights
organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional
and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as
well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.