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Society Joins Advocates’ Calls for Improvements to Exchange Plan Coverage

December 31, 2014

As implementation of the Affordable Care Act continues, the law enacted by Congress in 2010 is translated into rules and regulations that make the changes a reality.  Recently, the Society worked in tandem with other leading health advocates in crafting responses to a proposed regulation with significant implications for people with chronic conditions and/or disabilities.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society joined in coalition with 278 health advocacy groups in support of measures to improve access to care for people enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Exchanges.  In its December 19th letter to Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell, the ‘I am Essential’ coalition applauded the Department’s proposed rules governing the health plans.  The proposed measures would improve current practices by enhancing coverage of needed medicines and assuring that accurate information about the plans’ provider networks and drug formularies is  readily available. The groups’ letter strongly urged the Department of Health & Human Services to adopt the new measures one year earlier than the 2017 proposed start date.
Additionally, the Society helped write the more extensive set of comments submitted by the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities – a large coalition of national groups serving as the voice of people with disabilities for lawmakers in Congress and the federal government. 
Finally, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society signed on to a separate letter to Secretary Burwell urging a thorough review of the current interpretation of the federal law’s requirement that all Affordable Care Act Exchange plans cover ten ‘essential health benefits’. After HHS officials review all of the formal comments submitted in response to the Notice of Benefit & Payment Parameters for 2016, a final rule will be published.


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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