In March of this year, it had been (or what I had thought it had been) one full year since I was on my new medical insurance. I had a pre-existing clause on my plan, so I couldn't really do ANYTHING that came with my UC and going to the doctors. I never really knew just how sh**y(pun and no pun intended) insurance companies and the medical field could be. When I thought that I had reached my time, I made an appointment with my doctors office to start on Remicade again, because it had been almost two years since I had been on it, and it was the ONLY thing (along with Imuran together) that made me 'normal.' I had the infusion, got all the extra meds, and waited.
A few weeks later, I got a phone call from the doctors office stating that I hadn't in fact waited for my clause to go into effect and now owed them over $4000.00. I freaked out. I found out that my Human Resource Manager at work (who is no longer with us) was wrong on when I signed up and it actually went into effect APRIL rather than March. I was sick. I had already at the time owed my doctors office for past procedures while I was without insurance, making my bill over $7000.00. I fell into a pit of depression. As many of you know, the economic status of us living in the Great Lakes State is less than stellar. The doctors office got VERY rude to me, because they wanted their money. I who lives paycheck to paycheck and can barely afford my medications, was sending them monthly, what I could. They said that it STILL wasn't enough. I lost hope, faith, everything. I pushed my boyfriend of almost 7 years away from me, as he say me through ups and downs, through out the course of having this disease while he had known me (I've been fighting with it, since I was 17!) He's always been there for me, the cramps, the bleeding, the doctors appointments, the 'accidents' everything. I felt like I was being a child, but couldn't control it, I can now only imagine what I put my parents through when I was younger and sicker than I am now! I really am surprised that I didn't cause a divorce. I'm getting off track... I blamed the doctors, stating that they should have again confirmed my insurance prior to the appointment, they blamed me for not knowing my insurance. I blamed them for saying "lets not worry about your insurance now, lets just start you on the drug and we'll work it out later" they blamed their nurse saying that she was new. It was a mess,I was a mess. Phone calls, emails, letters from the doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, patient assistance programs, and nothing could be done. I went to my parents, who didn't have the answers, I went to church, I prayed, still nothing. The doctors office was trying to get me to send them a letter from my insurance company that said when the clause was up, (for legal reasons, I am sure) and I refused. The nurse got reprimanded and was told she needed to help find a way to help me, along with the manager of the building. I filled out the paperwork and was told by the doctors office one thing, my insurance company another, the assistance program yet another thing.
I gave up hope.
There was nothing anyone could do.
about a week ago, I got a very up lifting call from Judy, the office manager. They found an assistance program that would pay for my last treatment that wasn't covered. It was taking not all, but most of the debt away. Next, I got a call from the nurse to tell me the same thing, and also that I should call RemiStart another patient assistance program and have them re-process my information, I called immediately. They told me that I had qualified back in May and that they would cover what my insurance company wouldn't for my future infusions. They were going to FedEx me all I needed so I can start back on Remicade.
I don't know why I wrote all of this, really I don't. I just wanted to give some sort of hope out there for people out there, who are going through the same thing that I am and most likely will forever, in dealing not with the disease, but the finical burned that it causes. I have always had horrible luck, and this disease is just one way that I know that I always will. Part of me feels that it's still too good to be true. And you know what, it could be. I haven't gotten the bill yet from the doctors office that shows the deducted price. I haven't received the assistance yet, but one thing that this WHOLE thing has taught me, is not to worry. The stress from having to worry about where the closest bathroom, or dealing with the pain is the only stress I am going to let bother me now. I have made myself a promise that I will no longer allow myself to stay up all night worrying about where the money is going to come from to pay for this. The second that I did, something came along.
Have faith, friends, and don't let this horrible thing run your life!
Pancolitis diagnosed in '99
Crohn's Disease diagnosed in '06
Medrol Dose Pack
Imuran 100 MG Daily
Asacol 1600 MG Daily
Flexeril 10 MG (four times a day for relaxation/stress relief)
Slow release Iron