A coalition of 279 patient advocacy groups calling itself “I Am (Still) Essential” has called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to better define what is considered discrimination under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“As part of the plan review process for 2015, we thought there would be a better review of the plans for discrimination, but we are finding that the 2015 plans are utilizing the same practices as they did in 2014,” the group’s letter to HHS reads in part.

By way of example, the group praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is part of HHS, for saying that insurers who place most or all drugs for a specific condition on the highest cost tiers are “effectively” discriminating.

HHS is due in 2015 to issue a final “Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters,” which could further define discrimination in health care coverage.

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