Health Insurance and MS

HEALTH INSURANCE AND MS

What to consider when you select a health plan
From Robyn P.—VP of Market Access

My name is Robyn Peters, and I’m the Vice President of Market Access and Reimbursement for Biogen. Part of my job is to help patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) afford our treatments through their health plans. We not only want to help people living with MS and their care partners learn about their disease and potential treatment options, but also navigate a complex health insurance system.

It’s open enrollment season, a time of the year when you may have the opportunity to review your options for health insurance coverage and possibly make a change. This time may extend to early 2016 for some people. Your employer or benefits provider can provide you with the exact dates. It is important to know that open enrollment gives you a chance to look for a health plan that offers the best coverage for your treatment plan.

The options

There are many types of health insurance plans, each with different levels of coverage and cost. These plans fall into 2 basic categories:

  • Public: These are government-funded programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Exchange. These provide coverage for people who are older, have certain disabilities, or have limited financial resources
  • Private: These are most often paid by your employer. This includes health maintenance organizations (HMOs), which arrange care through a specific network of providers. Other types of private insurance plans feature a wide choice of providers but tend to cost more

Whether you choose public or private insurance, it’s important to pick a plan that meets your needs. Your health plan should provide enough coverage for your treatment, offer services to help you manage your disease, and allow you to see the doctors you want.

Resources

To learn more about some of your options in health insurance, you can download the guide, Multiple sclerosis (MS) and health insurance: How to choose a plan that’s right for you. It provides a detailed overview of insurance plans, types of coverage, and patient costs you should consider before choosing a plan. The guide also provides you with questions that may be helpful to ask your benefits provider as you review different plan options.

For additional information about insurance benefits, the Above MS™ program from Biogen gives you access to Support Coordinators. They can help you understand your insurance coverage and try to identify the best financial option for you. Call the Support Coordinators at 1-800-456-2255 Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM until 8 PM ET. 

At Biogen, we care deeply about making a difference in the lives of people with MS. Our goal is that no one has to forego treatment based solely on financial limitations.

About the contributor: Robyn P.

I'm Vice President, Market Access & Reimbursement (MA&R). I lead all US market access and reimbursement areas for Biogen. My team manages strategic contracting, access strategies, payer marketing, trade and distribution, payer analytics and operations, and account management responsibilities.

I earned my BS in Health Science from the University of Rhode Island. I'm a member of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL) and of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA).