Allergy & Asthma Network has joined with patient advocates to lead numerous efforts to champion federal and state laws to improve the health and quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. Following are key pieces of legislation at the state and federal levels that are important for people with these conditions to learn about and be aware of.
No Surprises Act
School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act
Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management Act
Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA)
School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act
Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act
The No Surprises Act is a federal law that took effect January 1, 2022, to protect people from most instances of surprise medical bills. The law was part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. The No Surprises Act bans surprise bills for emergency services from out-of-network providers or facilities and without prior authorization. In addition, it bans out-of-network cost-sharing for all emergency and some non-emergency services. The legislation also bans out-of-network charges and balance bills for supplemental care, like radiology or anesthesiology, at in-network facilities.
The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act amends the Public Health Service Act, with respect to asthma-related grants for child health services. The Act gives an additional preference to a state that allows self-administration of asthma and anaphylaxis medication and makes a certification concerning the adequacy of the state’s civil liability protection law to protect trained school personnel who may administer epinephrine to a student reasonably believed to be having an anaphylactic reaction.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects the rights of persons with handicaps in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 protects the rights not only of individuals with visible disabilities but also those with disabilities that may not be apparent. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) enforces Section 504 in programs and activities that receive financial assistance from ED. This means that the Department of Education enforces the civil rights of students with disabilities under Section 504.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and requires that the label of a food that contains an ingredient that is or contains protein from a “major food allergen ” declare the presence of the allergen in the manner described by the law.
The Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management Act gives grant preference to states that require schools to allow students to self-administer medication to treat a student’s asthma and for other purposes.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.
The School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act increases grant preference to states which implement comprehensive school-based asthma and allergy management programs (SAMPRO) that include student action plans, and education and training for school staff to administer medications in an emergency.
The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act requires the collection of national information on Americans’ exposure to food allergens and prevalence of food allergies for specific allergens; updates allergen labeling laws to include “sesame”; expands current guidance on patient experience data to include food allergies; and studies the economic costs of food allergies.