Program Notes: Know Your Insurance Options

by Peter Damiri
Vice President of Programs and Services

Photo of 3 people in front of a television

MSAA proudly announces the creation of a new addition to the website, dedicated exclusively to helping the MS community better understand and utilize health insurance. Titled, My Health Insurance Guide, this comprehensive online resource center offers a wealth of easy-to-follow information about the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid.

This initiative is supported by unrestricted educational grants from: Biogen Idec; Genentech; Genzyme, a Sanofi company; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. The new section of MSAA’s website divides content into targeted areas covering private insurance and Medicare.With the goal of making complex information easier to understand, My Health Insurance Guide includes a useful glossary of common insurance terms, helpful questions to ask and points to consider when looking at plan coverage, steps for appealing a denial, and downloadable brochures on the ACA Marketplace and Medicare. It also provides two archived webinars, and a brand-new educational video titled, “What You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act.”

This on-demand video is made possible through support from Teva Neuroscience. The video features MS neurologist Dr. James Bowen and a nationally recognized health insurance expert addressing the specialized healthcare needs of the MS community. These two experts also provide insights into making informed policy selections in the 2015 Marketplace.

For individuals looking to learn more about Medicare, the website provides extensive information on Original Medicare (Parts A & B) with the option of purchasing a prescription plan (Part D), Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), as well as supplemental Medigap policies. Guiding individuals throughout the site are easy-tofollow charts and numerous resources with direct links to as well as other nonprofit organizations.

With open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicare coming soon, MSAA encourages you to visit My Health Insurance Guide at or call (800) 532-7667, ext. 154 and speak to one of our Client Services Specialists. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to obtain the best healthcare possible and help stay on top of this complex and ever-changing disease.

Finding Resources to Help on Your MS Journey

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with MS for many years, MSAA understands that each person’s journey with multiple sclerosis is unique and ever changing. Because of the complexity and uncertainty of the illness, it can also be challenging to find information that matches where you are in your journey with MS.

Recognizing the need to help the MS community find a clear, direct path to the information they need now, MSAA is currently working to develop a new section on our website titled, My MS Journey. Made possible through support from Teva Neuroscience, My MS Journey will organize MS-specific content and information into three distinct channels:

  • Just Starting Out – appropriate information guiding newly or recently diagnosed individuals
  • Staying On Course – targeted resources to help strengthen the day-to-day management of MS
  • The Seasoned Traveler – support services to address mobility, independence, and caregiving needs

We anticipate launching My MS Journey by the end of 2014. Please check our website,, in the coming months!