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Kimberly

Nurse Kimberly Asks...

There’s no sugarcoating it, living with relapsing MS can get expensive, and figuring out insurance and financial assistance can be complicated. Everyone needs help sometimes. How have you navigated the challenges of finances and insurance? What resources have you turned to?

Pam Answers...

Navigating health insurance and financial assistance for your relapsing MS treatment

My family and I have experienced ever-changing healthcare policies, so we know firsthand what it feels like to be caught between a rock and a hard place. Keeping up with monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and other medical bills, plus the process of unraveling the red tape attached to certain treatments or tests is stressful and exhausting! And with stress being “Enemy #1” to MS, being attacked by financial stress, understandably, can be overwhelming.

Please know that, when it comes to your health, you need to do what’s best for you. This is the time to swallow any pride and be brave and honest with your healthcare provider about your financial situation. This is another HUGE reason why it is so important to find a healthcare provider that you feel comfortable with—someone who shows compassion and respects you.

I will be painfully honest with you and share something I have not shared with many people. The most humbling moment in my life was when I had to explain our financial situation to my neurologist. Make it known that you need help. It might surprise you how a frank conversation with your doctor can open new doors.

We have had some very difficult times when it came to navigating finances and insurance. I recognize, and I am grateful for, the individual hands who reached out and helped us. I don’t believe in coincidences and I will never forget these acts of kindness, whether random or not.

To all those who feel stuck, like we were, never be afraid to speak up. This is your way to turn over every rock and search for extra support.

See What Stewart Says
Stewart Answers...

Navigating health insurance and financial assistance for your relapsing MS treatment

Let’s face it, relapsing MS is an expensive condition. When I was in the Army, healthcare was part of the package; I never really had to be terribly concerned about finances. When I retired, I had to learn quickly. A couple of years ago, my neurologist prescribed a device that was only available through the manufacturer. I have good insurance, but my co-pay was over $1,500. Obviously, I had a case of sticker shock. After contacting the manufacturer, I found out they provided financing with a 0% interest payment plan! That eliminated a lot of worry.

When it’s possible, I still get prescriptions through military pharmacies, but if I did not live near a military hospital, I would have to rely on commercial outlets. Those co-pays add up quickly, particularly for specialty medications. This is something I’m taking into consideration as I look toward reentering the workforce and decide where I want to live. On the subject of reentering the workforce, an employer’s offered benefits package is more than just the paycheck. I have no intention of dropping my current health insurance plan, but if a future employer offers healthcare, I would certainly ask to see the benefits they offer before I took the job.

As I started exploring expenses and cost-savings measures, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of alternative funding sources available to people with limited incomes. 

The National MS Society webpage has a great deal of valuable information about comparing insurance options as well as financial assistance. Subject to qualifications, federal and state funding may be available to help offset the cost of Medicare co-pays. Likewise, pharmaceutical companies may have financial assistance or programs, and other organizations may be able to help as well. Some states operate assistive technology loaner programs that will let you try out a device before making the investment, and also help with procuring devices.

The bottom line is that this is your health and your quality of life. It’s easy to just give up and walk away, but if you take the time to look and research, you might be surprised how many alternatives are out there to lessen the financial impact on the person with MS and their loved ones. It never hurts to ask.

See What Pam Says
Kimberly

Nurse Kimberly Sums It Up

Everyone living with relapsing MS deserves the best care, but oftentimes the cost of therapy can cause a lot of unwanted stress. To top it off, insurance can be downright confusing. As Pam and Stewart know, speaking up and being proactive about your financial concerns is not only helpful, it’s necessary. Talk to your healthcare providers and your insurance company to learn more about your options. MS One to One nurses can also give you more information about financial assistance. Give us a call at 1-855-676-6326 any time.

Continue the Conversation

Angela fischer

I am with Maine to one i lost my husband last April it is hard now not just financially but no help I pay out of pocket for assistance stepdaughter helps and a friend lot of new stress its a hard road found determination does it when I go can’t looking for support groups information even this helps some keep going

Good to hear from you, Angela. MS One to One offers personalized support, where you can talk to an MS One to One Nurse. We encourage you to learn more about the program at http://www.msonetoone.com/nurse-questions, or you can call 1-855-MSOne2One (1-855-676-6326).

Sign up for MS One to One today and call 1‑855‑676‑6326.
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