Position: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter urges full expansion of Medicaid pursuant to the Affordable Care Act so that all qualified Michigan residents have access to the quality, affordable, comprehensive health care they need.
The financial impact of MS on individuals and families can be devastating.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, when most are raising families, advancing careers and maximizing their earnings. Yet studies show that only 40% are able to remain in the workforce ten years after their diagnosis, and many lose access to employer-based health coverage.
- Seventy percent of persons with MS report difficulty paying for health care, even with health insurance and many are forced to delay doctor visits and split their medication doses or skip them altogether.1
- Among people with MS, factors associated with not seeing a neurologist for a year or more include being unemployed, lack of health insurance, being older, and having a lower income.2
Expanding Medicaid is a smart investment for Michigan including people with MS.
- According to Senate Fiscal Analysis, federal funding provided through Medicaid expansion the state will save over $1.3 billion in the first decade alone.
- Of the 547,000 people expected to be covered by Medicaid in Michigan, 1000 are estimated to live with MS.
- Estimates for Michigan show a savings of $351 million in uncompensated care costs due to a decline in the number of uninsured and decrease is the amount of uncompensated care.
- Michigan would also experience broader positive economic impact including creation of an estimate 10,000 jobs3, medical business expansion and increased tax revenues.
Medicaid provides health coverage for non-elderly individuals with disabilities. It offers prescription drug coverage and standard medical benefits such as physician and hospital care; home- and community-based services that allow people with MS to remain independent and avoid premature admission to costlier institutional facilities.
Medicaid in Michigan
- Enrollees with disabilities: 16%
The Affordable Care Act sought to make Medicaid eligibility more uniform and provide coverage to all persons with income below 133% of the federal poverty level which is approximately $15,000 for a single adult. The U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered Medicaid expansion a state option.
1 Iezzoni LI, Ngo L. Health, disability, and life insurance experiences of working-age persons with multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 2007; 13:534-546.
2 Buchanan RJ et. al.. Neurologist versus nonneurologist care of multiple sclerosis patients. International Journal of MS Care 2008; 10:106-112.
3 Michigan Economy Will Benefit from Expanding Medicaid, Families USA, 2013.