Program Notes

by Peter Damiri
Vice President of Programs and Services

Aquatic Exercise Video Available Online and on DVD

Photo of a woman exercising in a pool
Aquatic fitness expert Monique Acton demonstrates shallow-water exercises addressing balance, strength, mobility, and aerobic endurance in the Introduction to MS Aquatic Fitness video.

Photo of Aquatic Exercise Video on a DVD

Posted on the Swim for MS online Aquatic Center, Introduction to MS Aquatic Fitness is MSAA’s latest educational video. This valuable resource demonstrates a wide variety of shallow-water exercises designed specifically for the MS community. Produced in partnership with the Aquatic Exercise Association and Genzyme, a Sanofi company, the instructional video showcases numerous aquatic exercises aimed at improving function, performance of daily activities, and general health and wellness. The video is also available to order as a free DVD copy.

To make the instruction as inclusive as possible, activities are performed at various impact levels offering options to personalize the workout. Following the 30-minute demonstration, the program concludes with a sample workout routine that runs through all of the exercise activities and their variations.

As part of the Swim for MS initiative, MSAA has created its comprehensive, online Aquatic Center through a collaborative sponsorship with Genzyme to help increase awareness, understanding, and availability of water-based exercise programs as a positive wellness opportunity for the MS community. We encourage you to watch Introduction to MS Aquatic Fitness and to look for additional resources such as booklets, tip sheets, webinars, inspirational videos, and more – all found on the online Aquatic Center at SwimForMS.org.


Ways To Learn, Explore and Find Healthcare Insurance

Screenshot of MSAA's My Health Insurance Guide website
MSAA’s My Health Insurance Guide site includes a glossary of common insurance terms plus many more important resources..

With open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare coming soon, MSAA encourages people with MS and their care partners to visit our specialized website section, My Health Insurance Guide, and learn more about how to select a health insurance policy. With the goal of making complex information easy to understand, My Health Insurance Guide includes a useful glossary of common insurance terms, helpful questions to ask when looking at plan coverage, steps for appealing a denial, downloadable brochures, webinars, and an award-winning video titled “What You Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act.” This web portal also breaks down the many levels of Medicare, outlining original Medicare, Plan D for prescription coverage, Medicare Advantage Plans, and supplemental Medigap policies. For more information, please visit mymsaa.org/healthinsurance.

In addition to the resources offered by MSAA, the federal government provides a dedicated website at healthcare.gov. Managed by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare.gov is not only the hub for Marketplace enrollment, but also contains a wealth of information, publications, videos, and more, all designed to help consumers better understand their health insurance coverage and options. Resources on this site include From Coverage to Care – A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You, which is a 44-page easy-to-read publication and an 11-part video series. This provides a step-bystep breakdown of key information related to understanding coverage, finding providers, and preparing for the office visit once a consumer enrolls in the Marketplace.

Photo of a doctor & patient on a laptop

The healthcare.gov website also offers a very useful online resource titled, “See Plans and Prices,” which allows consumers to enter and preview plans in the Marketplace, even during times when open enrollment is closed. After entering your zip code, a disclaimer screen appears, explaining that this tool is not an application for Marketplace coverage and plan information may change when enrollment begins. Once entered into the portal, a wealth of healthcare plans appear with options to search by premium costs, coverage categories (bronze, silver, gold, etc.), types of plans (HMOs, PPOs, etc.), and other important considerations.

While on the site, visitors can delve deep into specific plans to find listings of in-network providers, prescription medication coverage (including key MS medications for treatment and symptom management), hospital services, wellness programs, etc. with pricing on the monthly premium, estimated deductible, maximum out-of-pocket costs, and copays.

Please visit MSAA’s My Health Insurance Guide at mymsaa.org/healthinsurance, along with healthcare.gov and other reputable websites. You may also call (800) 532-7667, extension 154, to speak with one of MSAA’s Client Services Specialists. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to find affordable healthcare – which is vital in assisting individuals with MS receive the healthcare and prescriptions needed for optimal health.

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