Addressing the Needs of Chronically Ill People in Private Insurance Markets


Together, the 50 states and the federal government have created an ineffectual patchwork of laws and regulations governing private health insurance. This project will seek to: 1) understand how this system breaks down for people with chronic illness, many of whom are denied coverage by private insurers and are otherwise stretched financially from accumulated medical expenses; and 2) assess the potential advantages and limitations of proposals intended to make private coverage more accessible and affordable. Multiple sclerosis (MS), which shares many characteristics with other chronic diseases, will be the initiative's focus. Working with the project team, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will train its staff to respond more effectively to members' requests for assistance with insurance-related problems. The resulting tools could be useful to other organizations serving the chronically ill. This work will also allow researchers to assess the value of proposed reforms to the private insurance market. Cofunders include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Georgetown University
Principal Investigator:
Karen L. Pollitz, M.P.P.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
July 9, 2002

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