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By Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN - June 7, 2017

Many people with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis often find themselves needing extra help with things at home or accessing health care to keep them in their own homes.  This could be a result of an injury, relapse, or progression of the disease process.   All of these things could be temporary and often can be tended to in the comfort of one’s own home.  There are a number of resources available that allow this to happen.

For those of you who have private insurance (Blue Cross, United Health, Aetna, etc), most major plans offer a Case Management Program that can assist you in locating resources in your area to meet some of the needs that have arisen.  Call Customer Service (the number should be on the back of your Insurance card) and ask to speak with a nurse or case manager.   

 

If you purchase a Medicare Advantage or supplemental plan, these plans offer what they often refer to as Concierge Services that will provide you with assistance locating and putting services into place.  Your local Hospital, Community Action Program, Rotary and Lyons Clubs or places of Worship are also good resources.

Need an MRI but your co-pay is prohibitively high?  The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America has a program to pick up that copay or cover the cost of an MRI if your insurance just does not cover it.  Contact them through www.mymsaa.org for more details.

If a piece of equipment is needed or, for instance, repair of the lift in your van, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, www.nationalmssociety.org has one time grants of up to $700 to help cover the cost of these.

If you need some help with personal care but your insurance does not cover that service, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation does have a Home Care Program that may help on a limited basis.  To find more about that service go to www.msfocus.org and look of services.  The Foundation also, through their Brighter Tomorrow Grant is often able to replace an appliance or computer or get a wheelchair, walker or cane if you need it.

If you have Medicare and/or Medicaid, you may find the PACE program to be of help.  PACE stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly.   This program is designed for persons 55 years of age or older who need nursing home level of care but wish to remain in their homes.  They will work with you and your Health Care Team to coordinate and put into place the services you need to keep you at home.  They often work with resources in local communities and utilize licensed agencies and volunteer groups to get you the care that you need.  This program does have restrictions so to better determine if it may be of help to you, go to www.medicare.gov and then in the search bar at the upper right hand corner, type in PACE and you will be taken to a link that can answer questions.

Written for MS Views and News

June 7, 2017

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