Friday, July 31, 2015

MS Activists Help Bring Medicaid Expansion to Montana & Alaska

Together, MS activists are achieving great progress by supporting Medicaid expansion to provide quality, comprehensive care to our most vulnerable populations. Medicaid is a critical safety net for people living with MS, because: 
  • Many people with MS are unable to afford insurance costs if they lose their job, due in part to the high costs of care in managing the disease.
  • Medicaid has traditionally been able to fill the gap, but you have to be very low income and already disabled to qualify. 
  • The new health care law gives us an opportunity to allow more people with MS (and their caregivers) to have access to quality health care under Medicaid expansion.

Read on for more details on recent legislative successes:

Medicaid Expansion Passes in Montana
In late April, Governor Bullock signed Medicaid expansion into law! This measure ensures that nearly all of the 1,700+ people in Montana living with MS can have access to affordable health insurance. It will offer low-cost health insurance to Montanans that make too much money for the traditional Medicaid program, but too little to receive subsidies on the health insurance exchange.

Photo credit: MT Governor's Office
MS activists worked hard to advocate for this issue by reaching out to their legislators in person, via phone and email, and also by submitting letters to the editor of local newspapers across the state. We also sent out an Action Alert to our MS Activist Network, and activists responded by sending emails to their legislators in support of expansion.

The National MS Society was part of a larger effort to support Medicaid Expansion. We participate in the Alliance for a Healthy Montana, a group of healthcare and public health partners working together to monitor and take action on health policy issues. We appreciate everyone’s efforts to make this a reality.

Alaska’s Governor Walker Expands Medicaid

Photo credit: AK Governor's Office
In July, Alaska’s Governor, Bill Walker, said he would expand the Medicaid program in the state using his executive power. MS activists and health advocates have been working tirelessly over the last few years to support the expansion of Medicaid in their state, but the state legislature could not agree on the path to or process for expansion.

The expansion ensures that nearly all of the 1,000+ people living with MS in Alaska have access to care, along with many others who living with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Alaska is the 30th state to accept Medicaid expansion and the state’s Department of Health and Social Services hopes open enrollment to Alaskans starting on September 1, 2015.

As a reminder, if you’re not yet on our Activist Network, sign up today to receive important updates and alerts about how you can take action. Your voice matters – thanks for being involved!

No comments:

Post a Comment