MS and Employment
Symptoms can drive MS patients out of the workforce, wreaking havoc with health insurance and income. (MS on the Job: Workplace Protections under ADA) The process of applying for disability benefits is tedious and time-consuming, often resulting in repeated denials and a wait time that can exceed two years.
MS and Health Insurance
The disease-modifying medications currently available to treat MS are exorbitantly priced — as much as $7,000 per month — forcing patients to forgo the very treatment which could stave off further disability. There are no generics.
Without group health insurance, individual coverage with a diagnosis of MS — if offered at all — can be priced out of reach of many. Under the Affordable Care Act, people who have been denied coverage in the individual market and have been without coverage for six months are now eligible to apply for the new federal high-risk pools, although prices are still very high. (High-Risk Insurance Pools: Are You Eligible?) Under this health reform law, beginning in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.
National MS Education and Awareness Month was designated in 2003 by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and affiliated groups to raise public awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS). The National MS Society’s MS Awareness Week is March 14 – 20, 2011.
Please help spread the word.
Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis,” a memoir. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and The Author’s Guild, and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo