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Society Calls for Improvements to Marketplace Health Plans in 2017

December 22, 2015

In early December, federal regulators proposed new, or in some instances, refined rules governing the administration of health insurance plans sold through the federal Marketplace. Once again, the Society collaborated with other national advocacy groups in assessing the implications of these proposals for our constituents.  To leverage our impact and help shape positive changes in the rules which take effect in 2017, coalitions and consumer groups shared draft versions of their formal comments, and solicited input and endorsements from like-minded groups. To assure the interests of people with MS were adequately reflected in response to many issues addressed in the set of proposals, the Society endorsed four formal comment letters: 
  • Significant improvements to prescription drug benefits, out-of-pocket costs for covered drugs, and patient assistance programs are urged in the letter by the ‘I am Essential’ campaign;
  • The Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation commented on numerous ways health plans are restricting access to rehabilitation therapy for enrollees of these health plans;    
  • The new Essential Health Benefits (EHB)Coalition) submitted a comprehensive and detailed set of comments regarding coverage of prescription drugs, enrollees’ appeal rights,  assuring continuity of care, prior authorization and ‘step edit’ policies, and more; 
  • 45 groups endorsed a short comment letter strongly supporting a plan to help educate  Heatlhcare.gov users about transitioning to Medicare from an exchange plan.

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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