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MS Activists go 3 for 3 in Virginia

March 9, 2021

The Virginia General Assembly adjourned “sine die” on March 1, completing its work for the 2021 legislative session. With support from dedicated MS activists across the Commonwealth, we saw major wins on several issues which will improve the lives of people impacted by MS in Virginia: 
  • Reinsurance: Legislation (HB 2332) passed to establish a Commonwealth Health Reinsurance Program for Virginia’s individual health insurance marketplace. Reinsurance provides payments to insurers to help offset the costs of enrollees with high medical claims and has been proven to reduce premiums in the 14 states that have already implemented it. Virginians living with MS rely on the quality health coverage available in the marketplace, and establishing a reinsurance program will help make this coverage less expensive and could even draw new insurers to the market, increasing consumer choice. 
  • Junk Insurance: For several years, legislation has been introduced to allow “association health plans” to proliferate. These junk plans cost less than ACA health plans, but they also cover less, and as-written would have been able to skirt critical patient protections and state oversight. The Society opposed and successfully defeated both bills (SB 1341/HB 2033) that would have expanded access to these plans. 
  • Curbside Voting: The Society supported legislation (HB 1921) to make it easier to vote curbside for voters with disabilities. The bill passed, following powerful testimony from MS activist Michael Olex on how important curbside voting is to voters living with MS in Virginia.

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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