Schmitt v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan Wash.: Amicus Brief

Executive Summary

In Schmitt v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan Wash., several Washington residents experiencing hearing loss challenge the exclusion of hearing aids from their health plans’ covered benefits. The plaintiffs claim such coverage exclusions are unlawful discrimination. In an appeal pending before the 9th Circuit, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) and Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA) filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs. The amici describe how the Affordable Care Act and its key nondiscrimination provision, Section 1557, seek to end discriminatory practices by insurers, including discriminatory benefit design. Amici argue that the district court failed to consider methodologies developed by the US Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate plan benefit design.

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