MS Activists Celebrate Victory in Virginia
February 26, 2019
Virginia’s General Assembly adjourned February 24th after a whirlwind 46 day legislative session. MS Activists successfully advocated for several issues that directly impact people with MS in the Commonwealth.
These key legislative victories include:
House Bill 2126, a step therapy bill, which will make it easier for people to access the medication their doctor prescribes by updating the step therapy process to be more reasonable and efficient. Step therapy or “fail first” protocols are often utilized by insurers to review the use of prescribed treatments and control costs.
House Bill 2515/ Senate Bill 1596, a co-pay accumulator bill, which will ensure that payments made by prescription assistance programs will count toward a person’s deductible. House Bill 2515/Senate Bill 1596 would require health insurance carriers to count ALL payments made by patients directly or on their behalf toward their overall out-of-pocket maximum payment or the patient’s deductible. This would protect patients from surprise bills when they pick up their medicine and ensure they can utilize the full benefit of copay assistance programs.
MS Activists also supported the Time to Care Act. Although this particular act did not pass, activists worked to ensure that the state will study and consider establishing a Paid Leave program. People living with MS may need paid leave to address their health needs, without having to jeopardize their financial security.
These bills now await the Governor’s signature to make sure these important bills become law.
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.
The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.