“The Affordable Care Act: What People with MS Need to Know”

 “The Affordable Care Act: 

What People with MS Need to Know”




Background on the National MS Society’s involvement in healthcare reform

Explanation of the ways the Affordable Care Act impacts private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid

An overview of the new Health Insurance Marketplace and state Exchanges 

Additional resources about the Affordable Care Act for people with MS 

Speakers:  Kim Calder & Abby Emanuelson


Kim Calder

National MS Society’s ‘content expert’ on health insurance, currently serving as the Director of Federal Health Affairs and Insurance Policy, where she leads the organization’s efforts on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  She  joined the National MS Society’s Public Policy Office in 2010 after more than six years in our Research & Clinical Programs Department. Before joining the Society, Kim worked in advocacy and government relations for the American Cancer Society, the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations and Cancer Care, Inc. She received her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and earned her Master of Policy Studies (M.PS) from the New School for Social Research in New York City.


Abby Emanuelson

Sr. Director of Southeast Advocacy for the National MS Society.  Abby works with Chapters in the Southeast Region to develop strategic legislative agendas and alliances that engage high level MS Activists.  She currently serves on the Society’s State Activism Council and Health Care Reform Implementation Team.  Prior to joining the Public Policy Office, she worked for nearly 12 years for the North Carolina Chapters of the National MS Society building federal, state and local relationships to enhance the Society’s activism.  Prior to the Society, Abby worked for US Senator Mary Landrieu.  Abby received her associate’s degree from Peace College, a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and her master’s degree in public administration from NC State University.   



Do you feel more knowledgeable about the Society’s involvement in The Health Care Reform?

Did you learn more about how the Affordable Care Act will impact private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid?

Did you learn more about how the affordable care act can affect you or your loved ones with MS?

Are you more knowledgeable about the health insurance market place and state exchanges?

Did you learn where you can go with questions about Health Insurance & Health Care Reform?




Overview of Law

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is a law passed by Congress in 2010 and upheld as Constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2012. The ACA was designed to expand medical insurance coverage to Americans that did not already have it by offering affordable and competitive rates through a newly created Health Insurance Marketplace and providing subsidies to individuals who purchase coverage. The law also expands Medicaid eligibility to individuals in states that choose to accept the expansion. The main aspect of the ACA is the mandate that insurance companies accept all applications, regardless of any pre-existing condition an individual may have. The law also forbids insurers from dropping individuals when they become sick and prevents companies from placing annual or lifetime limits on coverage. Another important aspect of the ACA is the provisions guaranteeing greater equality for women. The law mandates that all insurers, with the exception of religious institutions, provide contraceptive coverage for any women that desire it. Most importantly, the ACA mandates insurance companies to spend 80-85% of premium dollars on total health costs and forces these companies to issue rebates to their policy holders if they don’t comply. Patients also have a right to appeal any denial of service by an insurance company.

FACT SHEET: The Affordable Care Act: Secure Health Coverage for the Middle Class


The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act ensures hard-working, middle class families will get the security they deserve and protects every American from the worst insurance company abuses.  This law was also specifically designed to give States the resources and flexibility they need to tailor their approach to their unique needs.  With the uncertainty about the Court’s decision behind us, it’s now time to focus on implementing this law in a smart and non-bureaucratic way that works for the middle class.
Benefits and Protections for the Middle Class: The Affordable Care Act includes numerous provisions to keep health care costs low, promote prevention, and hold insurance companies accountable.  If you’re one of the 250 million Americans who already have health care – whether through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid – the Affordable Care Act is already making your coverage more secure.

  • Insurance companies no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your child coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or charge women more than men.

  • Over 86 million Americans have gained from coverage of preventive care free of charge, like mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.

  • Nearly 13 million Americans will receive a rebate this summer because their insurance company spent too much of their premium dollars on administrative costs or CEO bonuses.

  • The law has already helped 5.3 million seniors and people with disabilities save an average of over $600 on prescription drugs in the “donut hole” in Medicare coverage.

  • The law’s provisions to strengthen and protect Medicare by fighting fraud will continue.

  • The law has helped 6.6 million young adults who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, including 3.1 million young people who are newly insured.

FACT SHEET: The Affordable Care Act: Secure Health Coverage for the Middle Class





About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide.


About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives.  In 2012 alone, the Society invested $43 million to support 350 research projects around the world while providing programs and services that assisted more than one million people.  The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-344-4867 (1-800-FIGHT-MS).




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