More than half a million commercially insured Americans were living with multiple sclerosis in 2017, with diagnoses increasing 4% over a three year timespan. This health condition predominantly affects women, who account for 75% of those diagnosed with MS. The average age of someone living with MS is 47 years old. Many people with MS also experience several additional chronic or behavioral health conditions that can affect daily life, and overall health and wellness. These MS trends indicate a need to continue focusing on the diagnosis, symptom management and treatment for a growing number of Americans.
This is the 27th study of the Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America Report® series, a collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Health Intelligence (BHI), which uses a market-leading claims database to uncover key trends and insights in healthcare affordability and access to care. This study assesses the health impact of multiple sclerosis on Blue Cross Blue Shield commercially insured American members between 2014 and 2017. The study population was identified by utilizing one MS diagnosis code, ICD-9 code (340), in BCBS medical claims.