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National Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Society Public Policy and Advocacy Update
Vol. 4, No. 11
November 2014
  • Contact Congress Now to Fund Brain Tumor Research
  • Open Enrollment for Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Joining with Coalition Partners to Advocate for Medical Research Funding 

Click here to view our 2014 Legislative Agenda

Contact Congress Now to Fund Brain Tumor Research
On November 12th, members of Congress returned to Washington, D.C. from their home districts following the November elections. Thank you to all of our advocates who have already welcomed them back and asked that they take immediate action in support of critical medical research funding. If you haven’t done so already, will you email your member of Congress now?
Research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), is critical to advancing treatments for brain tumor patients. Together, these institutes are the largest funders of brain tumor research in the country, and their funded projects are working to discover new ways to treat and eradicate brain tumors. Congress has until December 11th to pass a funding bill, and brain tumor research is dependent on passage of a comprehensive bill that includes an increase for the NIH, including NCI and NINDS.
Ask your member of Congress TODAY to pass a comprehensive funding bill for Fiscal Year 2015 that includes an increase for NIH, including NCI and NINDS.
Open Enrollment for Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace Plans
Below is important information about the enrollment periods for Medicare, as well as the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance through Health Insurance Marketplaces in every state.
For brain tumor patients covered by Medicare, there are two enrollment periods each year which allow you to make changes to your current plan.
The first enrollment period is Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage and will allow you to make a variety of changes to your coverage, including switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa; switching between Medicare Advantage plans; and switching, joining or dropping a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. This Open Enrollment period is currently taking place, running from October 15, 2015 to December 7, 2015.
In addition, Medicare also offers a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, which only allows consumers to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare. If you do so, you will also have until the end of the disenrollment period to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. This Disenrollment Period will take place from January 1, 2015 to February 14, 2015.
More information on Medicare can be found here
Health Insurance Marketplace Plans
The Health Insurance Marketplace began its Open Enrollment period on November 15, 2014. 2015 Open Enrollment will end on February 15, 2015. If you’re currently enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace plan, your benefit year ends December 31, 2014. To continue health coverage in 2015, you can renew your current health plan or choose a new health plan through the Marketplace during the 2015 Open Enrollment period.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is how uninsured people enroll in health coverage. You can find more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace on its website.

Joining with Coalition Partners to Advocate for Medical Research Funding
As mentioned above, the National Brain Tumor Society strongly supports the passage of a comprehensive Fiscal Year 2015 budget that includes an increase for the NIH, including the NCI and NINDS. However, we are not the only organization that believes in investing in medical research, and have therefore joined with like-minded organizations as a collective voice in support of NIH funding. 

National Brain Tumor Society has signed onto the following groups’ letters as part of the collective voice in support of medical research funding (PDFs of the letters to be available soon on braintumor.org):

  • One Voice Against Cancer Coalition
  • Deadliest Cancers Coalition
  • Close the Innovation Deficit
  • Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research 
As always, thank you for your advocacy. Together, we are making a difference in the fight against brain tumors.

David F. Arons 
Chief Public Policy and Advocacy Officer 

National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and those who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels. It's time to build on progress and transform tomorrow today.

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