Multiple Sclerosis

  • Link easing process for MS patients' treatment

    link 022817 314SPRINGFIELD – People struggling with multiple sclerosis could have an opportunity to ask for an exception to treatment limitations due to legislation passed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

    “Restricting treatment for the more than 20,000 Illinois residents living with multiple sclerosis is atrocious,” Link said. “These restrictions mean that people diagnosed with MS are not allowed to get the medically recommended treatment they need.”

    Senate Bill 193 would require that insurance companies offer an exceptions process for patients with multiple sclerosis to request an exception to a treatment limitation. It would also require that the insurance company would have 72 hours to accept or deny the exception request. Limitations include being subject to waiting periods, cost sharing limits and other limits.

    “By taking this step, insurance companies now have to justify to people why they are denying their medically necessary treatment,” Link said. “This is a small step in the long fight to push for a compassionate Illinois that helps people manage their symptoms appropriately.”

    Currently, insurance companies can limit the number of physical therapy session covered even if more sessions are deemed medically necessary.

    The legislation moves to the House for further consideration.

     

  • Link pushes proposal to allow for exceptions process for patients with MS

    Senator Terry LinkSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents with primary or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis would have an opportunity to apply for an exception from treatment limitations. That is if legislation proposed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) would become law.

    “Restrictions on treatment for the more than 20,000 in Illinois struggling with multiple sclerosis are disappointing,” Link said. “Some of these restrictions mean that someone is not getting the physical therapy they need to delay the symptoms.”

    Senate Bill 193 would require that insurance companies offer an exceptions process for patients with multiple sclerosis to request an exception to a treatment limitation. It would also require that the insurance company would have 72 hours to accept or deny the exception request. Limitations include being subject to waiting periods, cost sharing limits and other limits.

    “This is a small but important step in ensuring that people struggling with multiple sclerosis receive the care they need,” Link said. “I hope to continue to push for an Illinois that is compassionate and helps those people manage their symptoms appropriately.”

    Currently, insurance companies can limit the number of physical therapy session covered even if more sessions are medically necessary.

    The legislation passed the Senate Insurance committee on Wednesday and moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

  • Senator Michael E. Hastings fights to help people living with MS receive proper treatments

    Senator Michael E. HastingsSPRINGFIELD- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. MS requires a well-thought-out treatment plan that helps people manage their symptoms and live full and independent lives.

    Under current law, companies are allowed to cap the number of physical therapy treatments covered for people with MS under their health insurance policy.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings is working to change that.

    “People living with MS should have the option of receiving as many physical therapy sessions as needed to help them live independently,” Hastings said. “Insurance companies shouldn’t be in the business of prescribing treatments. The number of treatment sessions people living with MS should receive needs to be decided by doctors, not insurance companies.”

    Senate Bill 193 will change the Insurance Code to require insurance companies provide an exceptions process for physical therapy costs without treatment limitations or restraints on the number of therapy sessions someone can receive in one year.   

    Physical therapy treatments are designed to help those living with MS maintain and improve their ability to live self-sufficiently and complete everyday tasks like go to work. Rehabilitation is an important component of maintaining a quality comprehensive plan for people living with MS at all stages of the disease.

    “Treatment limitations should not be an option,” Hastings said. “We all want our loved ones to be treated with kindness and be able to receive the necessary treatment to live long and healthy lives. This legislation will help us move the people of Illinois in the right direction.”

    Senate Bill 193 passed the Senate’s Insurance Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

  • Link fights to provide medically necessary coverage to Illinoisans with MS

    link 020217SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents with multiple sclerosis could receive easier access to medically necessary physical therapy without the fear of burdensome limits or calendar year maximums.

    “People struggling with multiple sclerosis need access to physical therapy to delay or prevent future problems,” State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) said.

  • Link: Insurance companies must cover MS

    link msSPRINGFIELD—Illinois citizens with multiple sclerosis soon could receive easier access to medically necessary physical therapy due to legislation passed by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

    Senate Bill 2596 would require that physical therapy for MS patients shall match the Illinois Essential Health Benefits Plan. It would include unlimited visits to a registered physical therapist when a physician writes up a plan.

    “One of the best steps someone with MS can take to delay or prevent future problems is participating in physical therapy. By restricting one’s access to this medically necessary therapy, insurance companies are allowing damage to be done,” Link said. “We need to step in to ensure that everyone is able to receive the proper care they need.”

    The legislation now moves to the House for further consideration.

  • Link pushes legislation to open care up for MS patients

    link 040616SPRINGFIELD—People struggling with multiple sclerosis may no longer have to worry about restrictions on getting the care they need.

    Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) proposed Senate Bill 2596, which would allow patients with multiple sclerosis to receive the necessary treatment without restrictions.

    Currently, insurance companies by law are required to cover medically necessary preventative physical therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis, but that can be limited by a health insurance plan’s waiting periods, cost sharing limits, treatment limits and annual caps.

    “Medically necessary treatment is being effectively denied through many of these restrictions insurance companies are allowed to put on those with multiple sclerosis,” said Link. “It is unfathomable that those with insurance are not being allowed to get the care they need when they need it.”

    According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 20,000 individuals in Illinois are currently living with MS.

    The legislation would eliminate the ability of insurance companies to institute treatment limits or calendar year maximums for patients with MS who are seeking preventative physical or rehabilitative therapy.

    The legislation passed the Senate Insurance committee recently and now heads to the full Senate.