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Press Releases

Stand Up for APA Applauds Aetna Decision to Permanently Cover Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) For All Pregnant Women

December 9, 2020

Over 90% of all privately insured lives will now have access to unrestricted NIPT coverage

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Up for Accurate Prenatal Answers, a nonprofit working to ensure that all women in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) options, today applauded a recent decision by Aetna to begin providing permanent unrestricted NIPT coverage to all expectant women. This announcement, which closely followed a UnitedHealthcare policy change earlier this month to cover NIPT universally for all expectant mothers, ensures that over 90 percent of all women covered by private insurance providers will soon have unrestricted access to NIPT coverage.

 

"Aetna's decision to change their existing policies and provide NIPT coverage to all pregnant women is another incredible milestone in our efforts to ensure that all women have access to the best prenatal care options available, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic factors," said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA.

 

Stand Up for APA Applauds Aetna Decision to Permanently Cover Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) For All Pregnant Women

 

"Aetna's decision to offer unrestricted coverage for NIPT access to all expecting mothers further reinforce the latest recommended guidelines that endorse NIPT as the superior prenatal screening option for fetal chromosomal abnormalities from top medical societies like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM)," Wetherbe continued. "We will continue to pursue unrestricted NIPT coverage by the few remaining private insurers who are not following these latest guidelines, and in the states where NIPT is not currently covered by Medicaid."

 

As one of the largest private health insurance providers in the country and previously one of the last holdouts to provide unrestricted NIPT access for all women, Aetna covers an estimated 39 million lives. With this policy change, Aetna joins most other major health insurance companies—including UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, Cigna and more— that ensure NIPT coverage is provided for all women and are protecting the health and wellness of expecting mothers and their families.

Stand Up for APA Applauds Decision by UnitedHealthcare to Begin Providing NIPT Coverage to All Pregnant Women\

 

December 2, 2020

Aetna is now the only remaining major health insurance company refusing to follow medical society guidelines and offer permanent, unrestricted access to NIPT

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Up for APA, a nonprofit working to ensure that all women in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) options, today applauded a recent decision by UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to begin providing NIPT coverage to all pregnant women effective January 1, 2021. As the largest private health insurer in the country, UHC will provide unrestricted NIPT coverage to an additional 37 million covered lives. The decision leaves Aetna as the only major health insurance company that still does not permanently provide unrestricted NIPT coverage for all expectant mothers.

 

"UnitedHeathcare's recent policy decision to extend unrestricted NIPT coverage to all pregnant women is a significant step forward in the effort to ensure that all expecting mothers have access to the highest standard of prenatal care," said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA.

 

"With UnitedHealthcare's policy change, Aetna now stands alone as the only large private health insurer that fails to follow the recommended guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), which has already endorsed NIPT to all patients as the most accurate screening option for fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Aetna should follow the lead of UHC, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, and every other major health insurance company, and stop causing undue stress on mothers and families by failing to provide coverage for the most accurate information about their babies."

 

"UnitedHealthcare and Aetna remain outliers and refuse to follow the recommended guidelines outlined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) that endorse unrestricted NIPT coverage for all pregnant women," said Wetherbe. "To be a company that truly supports their female employees, it must provide all their female employees with the best available prenatal and maternal healthcare options, which is why we are urging the CEOS of companies that use Aetna or UnitedHealthcare for their health insurance to reach out to the insurers and insist them to fully and permanently cover NIPT for all pregnant women. The health and wellbeing of female employees at these companies depend on it."

Stand Up for APA Launches Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Coverage Scorecard for Fortune 100 Companies, Urges CEOs to Ensure their Employee Health Plans Cover NIPT

November 24, 2020

UnitedHealthcare and Aetna Remain Only Major Health Insurance Companies Not Providing Unrestricted NIPT Coverage for All Women

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Up for APA, a nonprofit working to ensure that all women in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing options, today announced the launch of a new online Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)

 

Coverage Scorecard, and that letters have been sent to the CEOs of Fortune 100 companies that use UnitedHealthcare and Aetna for their employee health insurance, informing them that their providers do not provide unrestricted NIPT coverage for all pregnant women. UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are the remaining two major health insurance companies that still fail to provide unrestricted NIPT coverage for all women, as recommended by the professional medical society guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM).

 

"While many large companies provide excellent maternal benefits for its employees, they must also recognize the importance of ensuring access is available to the best prenatal care, including unrestricted coverage of NIPT," said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA.

 

Stand Up for APA's newly launched online scorecard rates Fortune 100 companies into one of three categories:

  • Companies with employee health insurance coverage offering unrestricted access to NIPT for all women.

  • Companies publicly pressing their employee health insurance provider to begin offering coverage with unrestricted access to NIPT for all women.

  • Companies without unrestricted NIPT coverage for all women and that have not publicly committed to changing it.

 

"UnitedHealthcare and Aetna remain outliers and refuse to follow the recommended guidelines outlined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) that endorse unrestricted NIPT coverage for all pregnant women," said Wetherbe. "To be a company that truly supports their female employees, it must provide all their female employees with the best available prenatal and maternal healthcare options, which is why we are urging the CEOS of companies that use Aetna or UnitedHealthcare for their health insurance to reach out to the insurers and insist them to fully and permanently cover NIPT for all pregnant women. The health and wellbeing of female employees at these companies depend on it."

Stand Up for APA Applauds Humana and Centene Decision to Cover Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, Calls on UnitedHealthcare to Follow Suit

November 9, 2020

Nearly 40 Million More Covered Lives Now Have Access to NIPT Announcements Leave UnitedHealthcare as the Only Major Health Insurer Not Offering Coverage for NIPT

 

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9, 2020 -- Stand Up for APA, a nonprofit working to ensure that all women in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) options, today applauded the recent decisions by two major health insurance providers, Humana and Centene, to extend coverage for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to all pregnant women. This is another significant milestone in the effort to make the highest standard of prenatal care available for all mothers

 

"Stand Up for APA applauds Humana and Centene's decision to extend coverage of NIPT to all pregnant women, which will ensure that fewer expecting mothers will suffer from the consequences of getting inaccurate information about their babies from older prenatal screening tests," said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA.

 

With this decision, Humana and Centene join nearly every other major health insurance company—including Anthem, Cigna, Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), Wellcare, Optima, and more—in offering coverage for NIPT. However, UnitedHealthcare remains a conspicuous outlier, as its competitors offer superior prenatal testing coverage for women that aligns with the latest professional medical society guidelines.

"With Humana and Centene's recent policy changes, and Aetna's decision to cover NIPT for all pregnant women regardless of age or baseline risk at least during COVID-19, UnitedHealthcare now stands alone in ignoring the latest American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) guidelines that endorse NIPT to all patients as the most accurate screening option for fetal chromosomal abnormalities," Brianna continued. "By denying pregnant women access to NIPT, UnitedHealthcare is injecting unnecessary anxiety on top of every expectant mother's stress by preventing them from receiving the most accurate prenatal information about their baby."

With over 20 million members in the U.S., Humana is one of the top 5 largest private health insurance providers in the United States. Centene is the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the country, covering more than 7.2 million members. When accounting for all people covered by member plans, it is estimated that nearly 40 million more insured lives are now covered for NIPT following these policy changes.

Stand Up for APA Applauds New ACOG and SMFM Guideline Supporting Use of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) for All Pregnant Women

September 8, 2020

Stand Up for APA Urges All Health Insurance Companies to Permanently Cover NIPT for All Pregnant Women


SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, September 8, 2020 – Stand Up for APA, a nonprofit working to ensure that all women in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) options, today applauded the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) new set of guidelines that support NIPT use for all pregnant women, regardless of age or baseline risk. This is a major step forward in the effort to make the highest standard of prenatal care available for all mothers.

 

“ACOG and SMFM’s new guideline endorses NIPT as the most accurate screening option for fetal chromosomal abnormalities, and Stand Up for APA welcomes ACOG’s updated recommendation to offer NIPT to all pregnant women,” said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA. “We strongly believe that ACOG’s new guidelines will help mothers avoid unneeded stress and reduce unnecessary invasive procedures that increase risk to the fetus.”

 

“With the updated recommendations by ACOG and SMFM, there is a clear consensus among relevant medical societies that NIPT is the highest standard of prenatal care, and every health insurance company should follow their expert recommendations and offer permanent coverage of non-invasive prenatal screening tests for every pregnant mother,” said Wetherbe. “All moms – regardless of age, race, income, or risk factors – deserve the most accurate prenatal information about their baby.”

Stand Up for APA Launches Updated Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Coverage Scorecard for Fortune 100 Companies, Urges UnitedHealthcare to Remove Prior Authorization Requirements
November 11, 2021

Over 90% of all privately insured lives will now have access to unrestricted NIPT coverage

Stand Up for APA, a nonprofit working to ensure that women of every background, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status in the United States receive access to the most accurate non-invasive prenatal testing options, today launched an updated online Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) Coverage Scorecard. Letters have been sent to CEOs and top executives of Fortune 100 companies that use UnitedHealthcare (UHC) for their employee health insurance, urging them to ask their provider to remove prior authorization (PA) requirements for access to NIPT. NIPT is endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) as the most sensitive and specific screening option for pregnant women. Equitable access to NIPT options ensures fewer expecting mothers suffer from the consequences of getting inaccurate information about their babies from older prenatal screening tests.

 

UHC is the only national insurance company that still requires PA for access to NIPT – and SUFAPA calls on employers to urge UHC to lift any PA requirements so that their affected employees receive equitable care and unrestricted access to NIPT.

 

“Access to equitable care for all women has never been more urgent, and these UHC-insured Fortune 100 companies have the critical opportunity right now to ensure their employees receive access to the top maternal and prenatal care options without any barriers by urging UHC to remove PA requirements for NIPT access,” said Brianna Wetherbe, Director and Board Member of Stand Up for APA.

 

The Stand Up for APA scorecard categorizes Fortune 100 companies depending on whether they:

 

  1. Currently offer coverage for NIPT without PA requirements as part of providing the best maternal and prenatal care coverage to their employees;

  2. Are companies covered by UHC who have called on their provider to remove their PA requirements for NIPT or;

  3. Are companies covered by UHC who have not yet made a request for their provider to eliminate their PA requirements for NIPT.

 

To learn more about NIPT access and Stand Up for APA, please visit standup4apa.org

 

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Stand Up for Accurate Prenatal Answers (Stand Up for APA) is a nonprofit founded by mothers for mothers, working to ensure that all women in the United States are treated equally by receiving the most accurate, non-invasive prenatal genetic screening information available about the health of their baby, regardless of race, color, age, or socioeconomic status. We are driven to remove limitations related to insurance coverage and income or age discrimination that prevent many pregnant women from being offered the most accurate prenatal screening information available.