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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, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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