Program Notes

By Peter Damiri
Vice President of Programs and Services

MRI Access Fund Now Fully Restored

Photo of Sara talking with a doctor
Sara from New Jersey was able to receive a much-needed MRI thanks to MSAA’s MRI Access Fund.

As a result of recent funding approvals, MSAA is thrilled to announce we have reinstated a critical coverage component to our popular MRI Access Fund. Individuals with Medicare and private health insurance who cannot meet their co-insurance balance are now eligible to apply for funding assistance for a cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam through the program.

Now marking its 15th year, MSAA’s MRI program has been assisting thousands of individuals who are uninsured or under-insured to acquire an MRI to help determine a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or evaluate current MS disease progression. Recently, one of the program’s recipients, Sara, appeared in MSAA’s new “Changing Lives Monday to Sunday” video and shared her experiences about the Access Fund and the benefits of getting a much-needed MRI exam.

“After being diagnosed with MS for three years, my disease was declining,” explained Sara. “I needed an MRI to show whether or not there were more lesions, but I couldn’t get it. I was laid off from work and my COBRA had expired. I didn’t have health insurance and could not afford to pay out-of-pocket for the MRI. I was stuck.”

Through the generous funding support of Biogen, Sanofi Genzyme, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, MSAA has been able to fully restore the MRI Access Fund and assist qualified applicants in two ways:

  • For people with no health insurance or a high, unmet insurance deductible, the Fund will pay for an MRI through one of MSAA’s contracted imaging centers
  • For individuals who cannot meet their MRI co-insurance balance, the program will cover the remaining cost, up to a specified maximum amount

While discussing the situation with her neurologist, Sara’s doctor mentioned MSAA’s MRI program and suggested she apply for assistance. “The MRI Access Fund was an absolute gift to me,” Sara noted. “It was so easy to apply for. I can’t say enough about how patient-friendly they were. No red tape and no wait list. It was a painless procedure to get the MRI – from filling out the form to going to the imaging center and getting the exam.”

Following her MRI, Sara went back to her doctor to discuss the findings. “The results verified there was a decline in my MS – there was activity,” said Sara. “It made me believe I wasn’t making stuff up. This was actually happening to me and I was able to get on the treatment that I needed.”

Applicants must meet certain eligibility guidelines, complete the updated 2017 application, and have not received an MSAA-funded MRI within the past 24 months. Also, MSAA does not reimburse for MRIs outside of this program. To learn more and apply, please visit mymsaa.org/mri or call (800) 532-7667, ext. 120.

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