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Fresno, CA Attorney Blog

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Funding Multiple Sclerosis with SSDI

Can individuals with multiple sclerosis qualify for SSDI?

Treating multiple sclerosis (MS) involved prescriptions drugs, physical therapy, speech therapy, and the use of mobility aids. The costs for MS healthcare, moreover, can be quite high, ranging from $8,500 to over $50,000 per year. Prescription drugs account for a large percentage of these costs.

While some individuals with MS have better access to private health insurance coverage, Medicare and/or Medicaid, as a result of the Affordable Care Act reforms, have given many patients financial challenges like high deductibles and co-payments which can make paying for healthcare difficult. For those who are unable to work, this problem is even greater.

Why are costs for treating MS rising?

The primary reason that treating MS is becoming more expensive is the rising cost of MS drugs which have outpaced the rate of inflation. In fact, a recent study revealed that the current cost of so-called first-generation, disease-modifying MS medications is $60,000 per year, compared to about $8,000 to $11,000 back in the 1990s.

According to experts, the challenges faced by individuals afflicted with the disease in covering healthcare expenses has led some to take shortcuts in their treatment by skipping doses or taking "drug holidays." Other compromises, such as cutting other costs and eliminating "luxuries" are also common.

Paying for MS Treatment

Individuals with MS typically pay for treatment with employer-sponsored health insurance, individual health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or other programs. Private insurance companies typically provide advice to enrollees with chronic conditions, such as MS, on healthcare coverage and costs. However, life changes such as losing a job can limit health insurance options. Individuals with MS who cannot work due to MS-related disability, however, may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Obviously, coping with multiple sclerosis is a challenge that is compounded by the costs of healthcare and medications. There are a number of foundations, government organizations, and other assistance programs that available for those afflicted with this disease. There may also be local services that can offer assistance with transportation, meals, and other needs.  At the same time, navigating the complexities of the SSDI program requires a fierce advocate to guide you through the process. If you or a loved one is suffering from a chronic illness and cannot work, you should engage the services of an attorney with expertise in the SSDI program.


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