6 GHP / 2018 Private Healthcare Awards , Global Healthy Living Foundation Publishes Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Health Insurance Guide encourages people with chronic disease to understand their options and advocate for quality health care. Global Healthy Living Foundation has announced the inaugural publication of “A Patient’s Guide to Healthcare: 2018 Edition.” The new publication defines commonly used terminology, explains how to get the most from insurance coverage (across all types of insurance), and empowers patients to advocate for themselves and the chronic disease community. “In the United States, affording and accessing healthcare can be challenging, particularly for chronic disease patients who benefit from working with specialists and utilizing complex, often expensive, medications to manage their illness over a lifetime,” said Seth Ginsberg, president and co-founder of the Global Healthy Living Foundation and chronic disease patient. Another patient, Cynthia Arnsdorff, said, “I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 1967 at the age of thirteen. More than fifty years later, I’ve spent countless hours researching and educating myself about my illness while trying nearly every prescription medication as it became available, in the hopes of alleviating symptoms and preventing further joint damage.” Ms. Arnsdorff is a Georgia-based volunteer patient advocate for GHLF’s 50-State Network. “What I’ve learned is that I’m my best advocate. By necessity, I’ve become adept at understanding my insurance coverage and fighting for the treatments prescribed by my doctor. But beyond that, it’s important for me to speak up about the impact of RA so that insurance companies and the legislators who write our laws understand this invisible disease.” “A Patient’s Guide to Healthcare: 2018 Edition” commences with a declarative Patient Charter, which details the guiding principles underscoring GHLF’s perspective that patients should be the driver of healthcare decisions that are not limited by external factors (financial or otherwise). Beyond spelling out how the Affordable Care Act provided important protections to patients, such as revoking the ability of insurance companies to cancel coverage (rescission) without notice, the guide spells out how different types of private, public and combination health insurance options work and how patients can navigate inevitable paperwork, claim denials and appeals. “Frustration is the word I hear most often used when people describe navigating our healthcare system,” said Mr. Ginsberg. “It’s our belief that insurance companies deliberately make their protocols complex and time consuming in the hopes that patients, physicians, and the practice administrators responsible for securing approvals give up. With this publication, we are providing chronic disease patients with the education and tools they need to advocate for themselves and our community. Every patient deserves to be treated as an individual and receive the best possible care at an affordable cost.” Ultimately, “A Patient’s Guide to Healthcare: 2018 Edition” was written for chronic disease patients and the people who care about them by a team of GHLF writers with input from members of GHLF’s 50-State Network. The 50-State Network is a grassroots advocacy component of GHLF, comprised of chronic disease patients who proactively connect with State and Federal health policy stakeholders to share their perspective and influence change in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The 50-State Network mobilizes patients to voice their concerns about access to treatment, quality of care, and the need to prioritize the physician-patient relationship by providing public and personalized opportunities to advocate for the chronic disease community.