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Florida Health Care Groups Launch “FAIRx” Campaign to Fight Discriminatory Insurance Practices in Florida

FAIRx Urges Florida Insurance Regulators to Limit Discriminatory Out-of-Pocket Costs for Insured Floridians Living with Chronic Diseases

Tallahassee – (Sept. 19, 2016) – Fifteen of Florida’s leading medical societies, physician groups and patient groups today announced the launch of Floridians for Attainable and Innovative Rx (FAIRx). The new campaign, which is dedicated to helping insured Floridians with chronic health conditions obtain the life-sustaining, innovative therapies they need, has mobilized against insurance practices that discriminate against those with chronic conditions by moving therapies – sometimes every treatment for a condition (even generics) – to the highest cost-sharing tier, where the out-of-pocket costs can be prohibitive.

“Insured Floridians pay for health insurance with the expectation that they will be able to afford treatment when they or someone in their family gets sick,” said Nicole Bixler, DO, MBA, FACOFP, president of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA) – the founding member of FAIRx. “The reality, however, is that health insurers in our state are increasingly designing their plans in order to shift larger portions of health care costs onto the millions of Floridians living with chronic diseases. FAIRx has come together to urge Florida insurance regulators and lawmakers to do something about it.”

Campaign partners include:

  • AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families
  • American College of Physicians Florida Chapter
  • American Lung Association in Florida
  • Epilepsy Association of Central Florida
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Florida
  • Florida CHAIN
  • Florida Gastroenterologic Society
  • Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA)
  • Florida Physical Therapy Association
  • Florida Society American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians
  • Lupus and Allied Diseases Association
  • Lupus Foundation of Florida
  • Suncoast Epilepsy Association
  • The AIDS Institute
  • U.S. Pain Foundation

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) is currently reviewing qualified health plans for possible discriminatory practices related to the coverage of therapies treating chronic conditions, including hepatitis C, breast and prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. FOIR has already taken action to regulate out-of-pocket cost discrimination for HIV/AIDS treatments. Responding to the AIDS Institute and the National Health Law Program’s 2014 complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which charged four Florida health plans with unlawful discrimination for their benefit designs, FOIR limited cost-sharing for HIV drugs to $40, $70, or $150 per 30-day supply, depending on the medication. FAIRx is urging FOIR officials to take a similar approach in regulating the out-of-pocket costs associated with treatments for other chronic conditions.

For updates and more information on FAIRx, visit Follow FAIRx on Facebook at, and on Twitter (@FAIRxFla).

About FAIRx:

Floridians for Attainable and Innovative Rx (FAIRx) is a physician-led coalition dedicated to helping insured Floridians with chronic health conditions obtain the life-sustaining, innovative therapies they need. FAIRx works to raise awareness of discriminatory health insurance practices that keep Florida families from essential treatment. The coalition also supports state policies that make insurance coverage, coinsurance and copays more transparent and equitable. For more information, visit