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Twice a month, we share quick advocacy tips and insights that you can use right away to become a better chronic advocate. This week, learn about insurance company tactics to limit patient care, legislation critical for protecting living donors, the pitfalls of Charity Care programs, and more.

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1. Dive deeper into advance care planning with Marisette Hasan in this insightful video. April 16th marked National Healthcare Decisions Day, and throughout April, the nation observes Healthcare Decisions Month. It's a crucial time to ensure your healthcare wishes are known and well documented, something that every chronic patient should prioritize. Explore more tools and information on healthcare planning from our partners at the North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition.

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Photo credit: The New York Times

2. Patient stories deliver a powerful punch in the New York Times editorial video, 'What’s My Life Worth?', as it examines insurance company tactics, the barriers of prior authorization, and implications for patients. This is an illuminating and moving illustration of how personal stories can point the way to patient-centered laws and policies. Click here to learn more about how you can share your advocacy story by joining as an ambassador.

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3. Before April ends, take action for National Donate Life Month! Take a moment to email your federal elected officials advocating for the federal Living Donor Protection Act, which offers job security, insurance coverage, and other protections to living organ donors. Meanwhile, our coalition is actively engaged in advocacy efforts across various states, from Virginia to California and Missouri.

Learn more about step therapy reform, copy accumulator bans, and more in our April Advocate Update blog.

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4. “Charity care” refers to programs intended to assist low-income patients with paying for high-cost treatments. Yet the complexities of healthcare financing often overshadow its intended purpose, with programs like the complex 340B program, copay accumulator requirements, and alternative funding schemes meaning patient assistance is often failing to reach the patients who need it most.

Explore how patient assistance is being systematically diminished by these programs and how our coalition is tackling these issues in our latest blog.

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Photo credit: Carmaria Fenton

5. April is National Minority Health Month, a time to recognize and address the unique health challenges faced by minority communities. In tribute, we’re highlighting one of our incredible Ambassadors — Carmaria Fenton, from North Carolina.

[I advocate] [b]ecause people need better access to care and so much more, there are some that don't even advocate for themselves at all.”

If you’re interested in joining Carmaria in our Ambassador program, click here.