Category Archives: Featured

21st Century Cures Act

Answering Your Questions About the New Tax Reform Legislation

On Wednesday, December 20, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). There were several health-related changes included in the legislation, such as a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and changes to the medical expenditure tax deduction. Below we explain the key health provisions that made it into the final law, how it may impact you, and what’s next.

Let’s start with the individual mandate.
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rebecca gillett

Platinum Ambassador Spotlight—Rebecca Gillett, Colorado

In 2016, I was fortunate to attend the Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. alongside some seasoned advocacy veterans from Denver. I had never met with my legislators or shared my story before, so it was a new experience. It was easy to “catch the bug” for advocacy being surrounded by so many other fellow arthritis patient advocates who want to make a difference for all of us. Raising awareness and fundraising for arthritis has been an integral part of my life for the past several years, but advocacy has become an even greater passion. This year, I achieved the Platinum Ambassador Award and will attend the Arthritis Foundation’s Platinum Ambassador Assembly this March 12-13, 2018.

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ask the af open enrollment healthcare

#AsktheAF: Open Enrollment Edition!

During this season of open enrollment, the Arthritis Foundation is here to help you make an informed decision in selecting the best health coverage for your unique needs. Open enrollment is the time of year when individuals elect health care benefits through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or the federal and state health exchanges created through the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment periods vary based on the type of insurance you have, but generally occur in the late fall.

As part of our commitment, the Arthritis Foundation hosted a webinar last month to provide a general overview of open enrollment and the tools and resources you need to secure the best health care for you and your family. In addition, we hosted our very first Twitter chat on November 9th devoted to this year’s open enrollment. Thousands of you engaged with us on Twitter to #AsktheAF and we rounded up your questions in one location.

Read on to learn more about open enrollment and the questions you asked during the Twitter chat. If you have further questions, the Arthritis Foundation also has licensed clinical social workers available to talk with you about these options or any other questions you may have about your care. Call toll-free at 1-844-571-HELP.

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advocacy biosimilars reversal

Arthritis Foundation Plays a Role in CMS Biosimilars Policy Reversal  

On Thursday, November 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they would reverse a policy determining how providers are paid for administering biosimilar drugs under Medicare Part B. A biosimilar is a type of medication that is “similar” to a biologic reference product, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); biosimilars offer patients the promise of more affordable treatment options available on the market to address their disease.

Over the past twenty-four months, the Arthritis Foundation and other patient organizations have expressed our collective concerns with CMS’s biosimilars reimbursement policy and encouraged them to reverse it. This policy reversal is a crucial access to care victory for the arthritis community since there are two biosimilars on the market to treat arthritis. The regulatory change will foster competition and lower the cost of expensive biologic treatments, while encouraging innovation of new therapies – ultimately creating a robust marketplace of biosimilars. Read on to learn more about this important win for patients.

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Junior Ambassador Spotlight – Ethan Berkovitz, Ohio

From Ethan Berkovitz

My name is Ethan Berkovitz, I am a 16-year-old high school sophomore  and my favorite sports are soccer and futsal, a type of indoor soccer with five players per team.  I play on the U.S. Youth Futsal 16-and-under National Team, and this summer I got to compete and represent our country in Costa Rica.  I have been playing soccer since I was 3 years old – and I have juvenile arthritis.

I didn’t always have juvenile arthritis. It all started when I was 8 years old,  when I started having pain in my legs, hands and wrists. I thought I was having growing pains, but it got worse and worse in just a few short months. I couldn’t even walk down the stairs, or to the bus stop, so my dad had to carry me.  Sometimes, I didn’t make it to school because I didn’t feel very well and I would get fevers, so I felt really sick.  I loved playing all kinds of sports back then with my friends and I was on lots of different teams.  I also would ride my bike, skateboard, rollerblade and much more.

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Washington DC Arthritis Advocacy Victory

The Nation’s Capital Caps the Out-of-Pocket Costs of Medications

Congratulations D.C. Advocates! Because of your efforts, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Specialty Drug Copayment Limitation Act. In the law, “specialty drug” means a prescription drug that is prescribed for a person with a physical, behavioral, or developmental condition that may have no known cure, is progressive, or can be debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated, such as multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis.
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ICER RA Treatment Review

Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

On Friday March 24, after many months of review, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) held a public meeting in Boston, MA to discuss evidence findings on treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ICER is a non-profit organization that reviews the effectiveness of medications and their costs.
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2017 Arthritis Foundation Advocacy Summit Day 1

400 Volunteers Prepare for Meetings with Congress: Advocacy Summit Day 1 Highlights

They came from places like Runnels, a small town in Iowa with 507 residents, and New York City, the second largest city in the world.

Lydia and Susanna
Lydia and Susanna Meyer, NV

People like Leticia Hugues and her son, Ashton, from Smiths Grove Kentucky, Lydia Meyer and her daughter Susanna from Reno, Nevada, and Kelli Carlson from Woodbury Minnesota and her friend Kelli Dwyer from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
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2016 Arthritis Foundation Platinum Ambassadors

Record Number of Advocates Earn Platinum Ambassador Status

A record number of individuals have achieved the Arthritis Foundation’s highest advocacy honor in 2016 and became Platinum Ambassadors. At the 2017 Advocacy Summit, March 6-7, in Washington, DC, 41 new Platinum Ambassadors will be recognized for their outstanding advocacy accomplishments on behalf of the arthritis community.

Platinum Ambassadors are an elite group of Advocates who go above and beyond the call of duty by accomplishing a challenging list of advocacy assignments along with four bonus activities, all while raising funds to support the Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis.

“Platinum Ambassadors are the special forces of our Advocate army,” said Sandie Preiss, national vice president, Advocacy & Access. “They use their voice and arthritis stories, at an elevated level of frequency and sophistication, to help knock down barriers to health care.”
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