- Are you interested in meeting and networking with others with MS that live near you?
- Are you seeking support and looking to learn from others also living with MS?
Join the movement and help create a vibrant MS network in your community.
The Chapter is seeking potential new self-help group leaders to start and lead affiliated MS self-help groups throughout the Chapter area. Self-Help Group Leaders of affiliated MS self-help groups are valuable volunteers for the National MS Society! Contact the Chapter at 1-800-344-4867 or email email@example.com to learn more about the chapter’s self-help group network and how to start an affiliated group in your community!
Highly qualified high-school seniors who have been diagnosed with MS or who have a parent with MS are eligible for the National MS Society’s scholarship program. Additional criteria include financial need, academic record, participation in school or community activities, and an essay (written by the applicant) on the impact of MS on his or her life. Awards range from $1,000–$3,000 and a small number of four-year awards are offered. Applications for 2011 scholarships will be accepted (online only) between October 1, 2010, and January 14, 2011. For more info, visit nationalMSsociety.org/scholarship or call us.
By The Health Care Reform Implementation Team
Health care reform is now law, so the name of the government’s official Web site has changed. Visit healthcare.gov. While many regulations remain to be written, not everything you may hear about this law is accurate. Check the official Web site.
A section on this site allows comparison shopping for health insurance. It links to what’s available in each state -- private plans, public programs, and community health-care services. Prices are being posted as they are set, so users are invited to check back often for updates.
If you currently have employer-based or individually-purchased insurance that works for you, you don’t need to do anything. The Affordable Care Act is designed to protect people from some potential insurance abuses. These changes are being called “The Patients’ Bill of Rights.”
As of September 23* all new or renewed job-based or private plans:
- Cannot exclude your children under 19 because of disabilities or pre-existing conditions.
- Cannot drop coverage because of high claims.
- Cannot impose “lifetime” limits.
- Must allow your adult children to stay on your plan until age 26.
*Please note that most job-based plans renew at the turn of the year, meaning that these protections kick in on January 1, 2011, for most people. If you encounter exceptions to these provisions, call us. Our staff and people in the Information Resource Center in Denver can help.
If you currently have no insurance and have been uninsured for six months or more, call us to discuss the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs). They are starting up in every state, and no one can be refused coverage due to their health. But until the tax breaks and help that start in 2014, you may find the cost a problem. Call us anyway to explore other options.
Planning for 2011
As usual, people on Medicare can switch their plans between November 15 and December 31. Review your choices carefully. Government subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans are being reduced, and some of these insurers will respond by raising prices or limiting benefits. Traditional Medicare benefits are being increased, not limited. Mammograms, colon cancer screening, vaccinations and more will be covered in full with no co-pays or deductibles.
Medicare Part D will be different
The “donut hole” is still with us, but in 2011 name-brand drugs including biologicals will be offered at 50% off while the individual is in the gap. Generics may be even more steeply discounted. Check the list of covered drugs (the formulary) in any plan you are considering. As before, drugs for MS symptom management prescribed “off label” —as many are— will not be discounted. MS activists are working hard to change this.
If you have no Internet or need more help, call us at 1-800-344-4867.
The Health Care Reform Implementation Team is 12 chapter and national Society staff members tasked with explaining the new law.