Dear Addy: Year-Round Advocacy

person holding folder in front of Capitol

Dear Addy,

I’m interested in getting involved in policy and advocacy work, but am I too late to get involved? When’s the best time of year to advocate?

Too Late to Advocate?

Dear Too Late to Advocate,

No need to worry – you’re in luck! You’re not too late at all.

Advocacy is Year-Round

While certain states may only have legislative sessions that are open for a few months or that meet every other year, advocacy is a year-round effort. Most people think of advocacy as meeting with legislators to ask them to support a particular bill, but advocacy is so much than that! Everyone is an advocate, whether you’re advocating for your rights at school, in the workplace, or in a medical setting, or whether you’re speaking out about a piece of legislation at your state capitol or in Washington.

Ways to Get Involved

Here are a few tips on ways to get involved in advocacy on local, state, and federal levels:

  • Participate in your state’s Advocacy Days.
  • Reach out to your local bleeding disorders organization to participate in their advocacy efforts.
  • If you’re a young adult, sign up for our Young Adult Advocacy Summit or apply to be an intern at HFA.
  • Share your story through Project CALLS.
  • Talk to your elected officials via a telephone call, meeting, email, or letter.
  • Participate in your legislator’s town hall meetings.
  • Testify at a hearing in support of or against a piece of legislation when it’s being reviewed in its respective committee.
  • Participate in your local, state, or national organization’s Calls to Action.

HFA’s Current Call to Action: Help Ensure Lower Patient Copays Act (HELP Copays Act)

H.R. 5801, the HELP Copays Act is a bill protecting patients from copay accumulator adjusters and was recently introduced on the federal level in the House of Representatives. H.R. 5801:

  • clarifies the ACA definition of cost-sharing to ensure that payments made “by or on behalf of” patients count towards their deductibles and/or OOP maximums; and
  • closes the EHB loophole to ensure that any item or service covered by a health plan is considered part of the plan’s EHB package and thus cost-sharing for these items/services must be counted towards patients’ annual cost-sharing limits.

Join HFA in asking your legislators to support H.R. 5801 to protect patients from these harmful insurer practices and ensure that all copays count.