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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. 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. 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. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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