House representatives pass National Defense Authorization Act
This act expands coverage in the TRICARE program for medical foods. Medical foods are medically necessary for people who have rare, metabolic disorders including Phenylketonuria (PKU), Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Food Protein Induced Entercocolitis (FPIES). Such diseases prevent patients from being able to eat regular food due to missing enzymes or the inability to digest certain components of regular food.
Medical foods are routinely under-covered by public and private insurers.
Before the act was signed, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) worked with patient groups, physician groups and pediatric gastroenterologists to meet with the Armed Services Committee to advocate for TRICARE enrollees. TRICARE is a health care program in the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System.
If the act goes into effect, TRICARE will have one of the most expansive medical foods coverage policies in America.
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jack Reed (D-RI), as well as Reps. Denis “Denny” Heck (D-WA), Adam Smith (D-WA), William “Mac” Thornberry (TX-R), introduced and promoted the act.
The act has now moved to the Senate with the hope of a vote sometime this week.
Organizations in this story
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) 55 Kenosia Avenue Danbury, CT 06810