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California MS Activists Celebrate 2021 Legislative and Budget Wins

December 9, 2021

At the end of session, MS Activists celebrate several legislative and budget wins in California in 2021.
  • Step therapy reform: Following years of advocacy by MS Activists, AB 347 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 9. Health insurance plans will now be required to expeditiously grant requests for step therapy exceptions by establishing a set of standard exceptions to the protocol, including (but not limited to):
  1. The required prescription drug is contraindicated or is likely, or expected, to cause an adverse reaction
  2. The required prescription drug is expected to be ineffective
  3. The enrollee has tried and failed on the required prescription drug
  4. The enrollee is stable on a prescription drug.
  5. The required drug is expected to worsen a comorbid condition, decrease the capacity to maintain a reasonable functional ability in performing daily activities, or pose a significant barrier to adherence to, or compliance with, the enrollee’s drug regimen or plan of care
  • Emergency Planning for Vulnerable Populations: AB 580 was another priority bill for MS Activists in California. This legislation requires the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) to coordinate with representatives of the access and functional needs population to ensure the needs of that population are met within the emergency management system. The bill also requires counties to develop and revise emergency plans and send them to OES for its review and determination as to whether the plans are consistent with best practices.
FY 2021-22 Budget
  • Bills related to Telehealth (AB 32), Medi-Cal Assets Test (AB 470), California Community Transitions Program (SB 281), and Complex Rehabilitation Technology (SB 717) were incorporated into the FY2021-22 budget.
Following such a successful session, there is still more work to be done in California moving forward. If you would like to learn more about advocacy opportunities as they become available, sign up for the MS Activist Network now.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.


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