Dear President Obama and insurance companies,
I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and the many other people who are experiencing the same troubles I am. You see, I have insurance. In fact, to be quite honest, I have good insurance. I don’t have the best anymore because the cost went up exponentially this year. My husband and I, after reviewing the options, picked the plan we felt would fit our family and checkbook the best.
We were wrong. We should have just shelled out every last dollar we had for the most expensive plan. We thought we would be okay. We were wrong. We thought we understand the plan we were choosing. We didn’t.
You see, I have Multiple Sclerosis. It’s actually very mild. However, I still have to take medication to help prevent relapses. I plan on being able to walk until I’m dead. The more relapses I have can multiply my risk of being wheelchair bound, having the need for a suprapubic catheter, and decreasing my quality of life. I DON’T WANT ANY OF THOS THINGS. I put my body through hell on a weekly basis when my husband gives me my injection to help prevent this. I run fever. I get chills. My fatigue is brutal. However, if this medicine is going to keep me healthier than I would be otherwise, I’m going to do it forever
I want you to know. I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. I’m a nurse. I’m a nurse midwife. I’m a runner. I love my life. I have worked very hard to make my life the best it can possibly be. Even, though my meds are tough, I’m running around with my children, who are 20 month old triplets. I’m training for a marathon. I’m working as a nurse. I’m making the most out of what I have been given.
Last week, I called to get a refill on my MS medication. I have to go through my insurance company’s pharmacy. I have no other options. After I got shipping date settled, the lady on the other end of the line says to me, “It’s $518.36 today. Would like me to put that on your card on file?” What?!?!? $518.36? How? “Well ma’am, your copay is 20% and the medication is $2200 a month.” I promptly said I would not be taking my medication until I could figure out some way to pay for it. You see, that’s $518.36 every month. This is not a three month refill. That’s over $6000 for one year. There is no way possible I can afford that unless I go back to work full time to pay for it. That’s not happening. My children need a mother, and childcare would override the money I would be making.
I hung up the phone with the lady from the pharmacy and sobbed. I was upset, scared, and frustrated. Why do we have insurance and work so hard if I can’t even get my medication? We have never had any sort of government assistance. We paid out of pocket for infertility treatments to be blessed with our children. We paid over $800 for me to use a pump of medication to treat my nausea of pregnancy. We paid for all of our copays when the children and I were hospitalized. We paid for all copays when Maggie, our daughter, was in the hospital again. We never received government assistance for food or formula after the babies were born even though we spent $1000- $1200 a month on formula alone. Just imagine what our diapers cost…. If it had not been for our family, church, and friends, we wouldn’t have made it. Now I can’t afford my medication. There is something terribly wrong with this picture.
I do not want government run healthcare. No way. No how. I’ve seen how Medicare patients and Medicaid patients receive the bare minimum regarding treatments. Then, to actually submit the forms for prior authorization or payment is horrendous and difficult. I see how many procedures are refused because of the higher ups don’t think it’s really necessary. As a provider, it drove me crazy. My hands were tied when it can to what lab tests could be run. If a woman’s tubes could be tied at the same time as her cesarean section. It’s horrible. There’s no other way to describe it.
Private insurance is messing it all up too. We are paying good, hard earned money for our insurance, and I can’t afford my medications? Now, I’m terrified about how much we are really going to be paying out of pocket in the next year. Then, you write things in such a confusing manner, it’s hard to decipher. It would take more than an act of congress (no pun intended) to understand it all. You must change too. This is unacceptable.
I don’t know what the right answer is now. I’m certain what’s going on in Washington is NOT it though. This country will go bankrupt if we don’t watch it. Debt is not a good thing. Those of us who work hard should not be penalized or have to pay extra monies becasue others refuse to work and want to live off the government. There are people who use government aid appropriately. They need the help and that’s fine, We must continue to help then. Others, however, have less than honorable reasons for taking advantage of the system
I’m sorry to have written so much, but I needed to get it out. Now, I have to go research ways to be able to afford my medication.