Press Releases

Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) sent a letter to top executives of America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield, asking that they do whatever they can to help victims of the Las Vegas shooting, many of whom have traveled from other states, with any potential out-of-network charges, co-payments and deductibles.

“Given that Las Vegas is a top tourist destination visited by nearly 43 million visitors each year, many of the festival’s attendees traveled from out of state to be at the event,” the senators wrote. “As such, we fear that victims of this tragedy currently seeking badly-needed health care in the community could be hit with costly, out-of-network charges. It is our hope that insurance companies will fully comply with the spirit of the Public Health Service Act and do whatever they can to support recovering families and waive any charges that may typically apply.”

“Furthermore, we encourage insurers to consider additional initiatives that may ease the costly burden of health care for victims of this tragedy,” the senators continued. “Although policyholders’ plans already set terms on co-pays and deductibles, we ask that you encourage your members to thoroughly review these policies in light of the extenuating circumstances faced by victims and their families, and give due consideration to temporary changes that would provide support to these families.

The letter reads in full:

October 12, 2017

Marilyn Tavenner
President and Chief Executive Officer
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
South Building, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004

Scott P. Serota
President and Chief Executive Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
1310 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005 

Dear Ms. Tavenner and Mr. Serota:

On October 1, 2017, a shooter opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.  During this horrific event, fifty-eight innocent victims were murdered and 489 men, women, and children sustained injuries.  We write to you today to ask that the health insurance companies you represent do whatever they can to assist the victims and their families during this difficult time.

Given that Las Vegas is a top tourist destination visited by nearly 43 million visitors each year, many of the festival’s attendees traveled from out of state to be at the event.  As such, we fear that victims of this tragedy currently seeking badly-needed health care in the community could be hit with costly, out-of-network charges.  It is our hope that insurance companies will fully comply with the spirit of the Public Health Service Act and do whatever they can to support recovering families and waive any charges that may typically apply.

Furthermore, we encourage insurers to consider additional initiatives that may ease the costly burden of health care for victims of this tragedy.  Although policyholders’ plans already set terms on co-pays and deductibles, we ask that you encourage your members to thoroughly review these policies in light of the extenuating circumstances faced by victims and their families, and give due consideration to temporary changes that would provide support to these families.

Grieving families and those working towards recovery need your help to ensure that they can focus on recovering, instead of their pocketbooks.  We appreciate your attention to these critical matters and your support of the Las Vegas community and visitors alike.

Sincerely, 

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