National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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Position: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society urges full expansion of Medicaid pursuant to the Affordable Care Act so that all qualified Georgians have access to affordable, comprehensive health care.
The financial impact of MS on individuals and families can be devastating:
Leveraging federal dollars to provide low-income working Georgians health insurance is a smart investment that could provide up to 650,000 Georgians, including people with MS affordable, comprehensive coverage.
Ensure that Congress provides funding for MS research so that we can stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.
Caregivers of people with MS spend about 24 hours a week providing care. Of these caregivers, 64% are emotionally drained, 32% experience depression and 22% have lost a job due to caregiving responsibilities. The Lifespan Respite Care Program helps states better coordinate and deliver quality respite care that improves the health of family caregivers and allows the person living with MS to continue living at home.
The Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (H.R. 292/S.849) will create a nationwide system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases, including MS, which could one day lead to a cure.
We work to protect access to individually configured wheelchairs, seating and positioning systems and related accessories so that people with significant disabilities can have their medical needs addressed and remain independent.
People with MS must have access to the healthcare and medications they need to live their best lives.
Medicaid provides comprehensive health coverage to nearly 9 million non-elderly people with disabilities and to 10 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries who rely on Medicaid to fill Medicare’s gaps including many people living with MS. Medicaid is a true safety net for people with MS as MS is one of the most expensive chronic diseases and people with MS are often forced to stop working because of their disease.
Lack of public information on the price of healthcare services, the paperwork required to attain care, and insufficient notification of benefit changes contribute to the burden of living with MS.
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a variety of healthcare needs including neurological symptoms, emotional and psychological issues, rehabilitation interventions to enhance mobility and independence and long-term care. These healthcare needs vary dramatically person to person. Every person with MS needs meaningful access to a comprehensive network of providers to meet his or her unique needs.
Partnerships and the relationships that result allow us to be at the table when decisions are being made and advocate for changes that have a positive impact on the lives of those with MS.
People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) sometimes find that it is necessary for them to modify their homes to increase accessibility and improve safety. Modifying a home may also allow a person with MS to maintain a connection to a job, or remain an active member of the community, or even to remain independent. However, these modifications can be prohibitively expensive. People with MS may benefit from financial relief—for example, in the form of credits when they file their taxes.
Take a step toward Fairness and Transparency by requiring health plans to notify enrollees of increases in cost to their prescription drug benefits during the terms of a contract.
People living with MS who depend on prescription medications should be able to rely on their health insurance and the insurer’s drug formulary for the life of the insurance contract.
Health insurance contracts resemble other contracts of adhesion and provide no opportunity for an enrollee to negotiate the bulk of the contract’s terms or option to opt-out during the contract year. Providing continuity of prescription drug coverage is an essential safeguard that maintains access to vital and often life-saving medicines.
HB 644 requires health plans to:
Greater transparency will help individuals budget for the costs of their medications. Unexpected changes to prescription drug costs during the 12-month contract period can create a serious problem for policy holders. An unexpected increase—especially for expensive prescriptions—can be difficult to absorb, often leaving no option but to stop essential treatment.