http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=6689456 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ACTION ALERT - WRITE NOW! SUPPORT HOUSE PASSAGE OF S.423! TELL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS TO FIX THE HEALTH INSURANCE LOOPHOLE! Read about this bill U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 423, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act." This bill was passed on November 21, 2004 by the Senate, and now we need your support to get it through the House. Please write your House Representative and tell them to support passage of S.423! The legislation aims at promoting health care parity for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities-activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, running or walking. This legislation addresses a loophole caused by a Department of Health and Human Services' rule making it possible for health care coverage to be denied to those who are injured while participating in these activities. Collins was joined by Senator Feingold (D-WI) in introducing the Senate legislation. "From riding Harley Davidson motorcycles to visiting the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, these activities are part of Wisconsin's heritage and economy," Feingold said. "It simply doesn't make sense to exclude those participating in these activities from health care benefits." As background, self-insured employers and unions have been known to deny health benefits to their motorcyclist employees and union members. These unfair measures had been adopted on the questionable advice of third party administrators in an effort to keep the cost of insurance premiums low. On August 21, 1996 an important opportunity arose when President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), prohibiting employers from denying health care coverage based on a worker’s pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities. In 2001, the Health Care Finance Administration released the final rules that would govern the law. The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized recreational activity. However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those recreational activities. Essentially, the regulation grants protective status to motorcyclists without any substantive benefits. "Because of this loophole, someone who participates in motorcycling, snowmobiling, running or walking could be denied health care coverage, while someone who is injured while drinking and driving a car would be protected," Senator Feingold said. "It is time that Congress corrected this so that those who are abiding by the law are not denied coverage." The AMA is urging all motorcyclists—and those involved in any other type of recreational activity— to notify their Member of Congress and tell them to support and pass S.423, “The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act,” in the House.