Unemployed and no insurance... now what?

** Originally posted by Bigshooter **

Now I'm unemployed and I have no insurance - I'm not sure what to do.
I would like to try a biologic and I have been researching the information here regarding the programs for assistance in that area.
But I'm not even sure if my doctor will even see me without insurance and no money - if I have no doctor what good does access to the medicine do?
My wifes income is less than a $1000.00 a month and she has no access to insurance either - if it wasn't for my family helping with rent/bills we would no place to live.
I have no idea what to do - as I understand it the government has no help for persons under 65 unless you have a disability.

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

Oh, NO! You were afraid that this was going to happen. I'm so very sorry. :(

I'm at work right now (which means that I'm not supposed to be here :rolleyes: ) so I'm going to have to keep this brief.

There are several assistance programs that may be able to help. We don't know very much about most of them, but I can tell you that two people who sometimes post here were able to get Enbrel (one of the biologics) for free thanks to a program called http://www.needymeds.com. Miranda (LadyFraser) was able to get assistance from http://www.needymeds.com while her husband was transitioning from being self employed (with no insurance) to working for the government (with excellent benefits). Links to her story can be found here: http://www.psoriasis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3979 and in a thread that was started by Leslie (Momtotwogirls). (Leslie took the time to post the links and information about some of assistance programs that she came across.) I added the links and information about other programs that people have either told me about or that have been discussed here on the Board. With the exception of http://www.needymeds.com, we don't know very much about most of these programs, but it can't hurt to check them out.) Here's a link to the thread: http://www.psoriasis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=12379.

Many of the drug companies also have assistance programs. Enbrel's assistance program is called the ENcourage Foundation. (The ENcourage Foundation is also discussed in Leslie's thread.) I believe that you can find additional information about the ENcourge Foundation on Enbrel's website (http://www.enbrel.com).

Also, Alyssa Brown from the NPF's staff posted some very useful information about assistance programs in this thread: http://www.psoriasis.org/forum/showthread.php?p=236040#post236040.

I hope this helps!

Once again, I'm sorry to hear that your lost your job.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Mike

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** Originally posted by Bigshooter **

I called Enbrel and according to the representative I talked to she stated I should easily qualify for a one year supply and she is sending the paperwork today - so now I just have to get my doc to work with me.

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** Originally posted by MikeK **

Good luck, BigShooter!

Keep us posted.

Mike

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** Originally posted by LottieBay **

Try contacting your local welfare office. You should qualify for food and medical assistance.
I get 629.00 a month Social Security. Not enough to live on or pay a Dr bill. I qualify as medically needy and recieve medicaid. They covered all my medical expenses untill I started recieving medicare. Now they pick up whatever medicare doesn't pay. My Derm suggested Enbrel for me a couple of years ago and Medicaid approved it in less than a week. My Oncologist conferenced with my Derm and Amgen Wyeth and they decided it wasn't an option for me, but my point is, You and your wife should qualify for medicaid. It's worth checking into.
Margaret

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** Originally posted by Alyssa_B **

I would also recommend reading the consumer guide for getting and keeping health insurance in your state here, http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/

The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute has put together a helpful guide for each state. The guides include information on the financial aid programs available in the state as well as information on your rights as a patient.

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** Originally posted by hypr004 **

I called Enbrel and according to the representative I talked to she stated I should easily qualify for a one year supply and she is sending the paperwork today - so now I just have to get my doc to work with me.

Yep, as soon as they recieve the confirmation (prescription)from your doctor, they will start sending tou enbrel free. Your Dr. just needs to fill out the form and send it back, That's it.

If they're sending you the application then i would almost guarantee that your approved and there is no real reason your doctor should deny you, UNLESS YOU HAVE AN INFECTION. Do not even start enbrel if you have an infection of ANY kind. Get it cleared and then start enbrel, EVEN A TOOTH INFECTION or something minor like that because it will get worse.

You will also need a tuberculosis test. It's a quick little pinch on the arm(painless) but it's absolutely necessary. Your dermatologist can do it but you will have to pay out of pocket for that. I know. Scrape up about $80 to make an appointment with a derm. so they can see you and take a TB test. Then you will recieve Enbrel, a $1000-$2300 a month prescription for FREE providing you don't have active TB.

Good luck!!

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** Originally posted by PJ66 **

I was in the same situation a few months ago. I lost my job and insurance for myself and my girls. I did go and apply for food and medical assistance. I did receive both. It's worth a try. The worst thing for me is I was on enbrel prior to losing my job and was doing very well on it. My pcp says she knows nothing about p and pa or enbrel. She has referred me to a rhuemy and derm. The only problem is it has taken me 3 months to get into the rhuemy. My appt. is finally in 2 weeks. I'm also having trouble finding a derm that will accept medicaid. Even with all this frustration with finding drs I'm still thankful that I can go. I'm also thankful that it doesn't cost me anything to go to the dr and my rx are free for generics and only $3. if not.
Polly

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** Originally posted by SCCatman **

IF you have been out of a job for les than a few months, you can get CORBA, when that runs out you can get guanteed insurance.
For a single person the CORBA is about $220 a month, the guanteed is about $400-$500 a month.
Dennis

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** Originally posted by jdeldrid **

COBRA is whatever your employer was paying on your behalf, + whatever your contribution was, + 2%. In my case, it was about $500/month, albeit, for very good coverage. You have to elect COBRA within 60 days of losing employer coverage. In some states, there are better options than COBRA, in others, it's your best bet. Where do you live, and how long has it been since you had coverage? If it's been, I think, more than 60 days since you had employer coverage, COBRA's not an option.

-- Jaye

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** Originally posted by MamaMoose **

Hi Bigshooter,
I'm sorry you lost your job and insurance...that really stinks :( My town has a research center that offers FREE medical care, meds, and reimbursement of travel time, etc. for all sorts of illnesses including psoriasis. Local doctors participate at the clinic and work with the researchers for illnesses in their area of medicine. The center here is called Radiant Research. I'm not sure if they're a nation wide program or not but it might be worth checking into. Your local health department may be able to tell you if there is a research program in your area. My cousin is getting free meds and care for intestinal problems at the center and is doing great. At the time I was approached to participate, they were using Enbrel, but I didn't join the program because I didn't want to take Enbrel or any other drugs at the time. I hope this helps. Good luck! :)

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** Originally posted by ziggyspaw **

Hey,
Just wanted to relate a story you probably dont hear much.
I lost my job, and consequently my insurance, and was looking at losing my home. I went through the worst flare of my life, could barely walk or even sleep - the PA got in my ribs, worst in the mornings, I'd sit and cry after waking up if I did sleep.. it was terrible.
I called my doctor, Dr Woodson here in las vegas, because I had heard about the enbrel assistance program. I sent him the paperwork months ago, and he hadnt filled them out. He told me that he had to see me in order to help me, but of course you know I had no money so I couldnt afford an office visit. well he said "Dont worry about it. get in here." he saw me, did several follow ups, and in the end decided humira was the right program for me. got me a years supply. great doctor in many ways.

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** Originally posted by Fawn **

I empathize with everyone here who cannot get health care or appropriate health care for their P. Now, I should not be complaining because I live in Canada-Land of the free medical care. That is a sham! If I wanted to pay a few thousand dollars to have botox or other 'beautifying' procedures, I could see a dermatologist tomorrow. However, I have been on the waiting list for over 2 years. Then, hurray, I was told that my name was at the top of the list-now I could see the derm...oh no-I am at the top of the list that is the waiting list to be put on the actual list. I have not seen a dermatologist since 1996. I have to go to walk-in clinics because I don't have a family doctor. They usually prescribe Dovonex which costs $170 a tube and this is not covered by my provincial health plan. And does it work-hardly. The meds that you are posting about are unknown to me-primarily because health care in Canada sucks big time-especially in Ontario. And the sun only shines a few months of the year with any strength at all-except it is exceptionally cloudy this year. As an afternote-has anyone tried Arizona sun and how effective and how much would be needed? :confused: and:eek: but happy to be on this forum again.

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** Originally posted by enshock **

My cobra was $891. per month. That is why I don't have it anymore. I have no insurance. Enbrel said they could give me a 3 month supply only through the foundation.I am having a flare with my PA and can barely walk. The only insurance company that would talk to me was BCBS and they quoted me $3700. per month, for just me! I am exhausted all the time and cannot work.It's great to find this site though and to know I am not alone!

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** Originally posted by stametst **

Now I'm unemployed and I have no insurance - I'm not sure what to do.
I would like to try a biologic and I have been researching the information here regarding the programs for assistance in that area.
But I'm not even sure if my doctor will even see me without insurance and no money - if I have no doctor what good does access to the medicine do?
My wifes income is less than a $1000.00 a month and she has no access to insurance either - if it wasn't for my family helping with rent/bills we would no place to live.
I have no idea what to do - as I understand it the government has no help for persons under 65 unless you have a disability.

Dear Bigshooter:

I am so sorry that you have no job or health insurance. I am in the same boat that you are in.

Have you tried some of the patient assistance programs? I am on the patient assistance program for Humira and they do not charge me a dime for the product or having it FedExed. Enbrel use to have a patient assistance program and they are there to help us when we need their assistance. Please check with:

http://www.Enbrel.com
http://www.Humira.com
http://www.Raptiva.com
http://www.Remicade.com

These are a few that come to mind. I hope this will be of help to you. Good luck in your job search.

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** Originally posted by stametst **

My cobra was $891. per month. That is why I don't have it anymore. I have no insurance. Enbrel said they could give me a 3 month supply only through the foundation.I am having a flare with my PA and can barely walk. The only insurance company that would talk to me was BCBS and they quoted me $3700. per month, for just me! I am exhausted all the time and cannot work.It's great to find this site though and to know I am not alone!

Dear Enshock:

$3700 per month for single coverage--Have they lost their minds? Have you reported this to the Insurance Commission because if you haven't I think you should!!

Absolutely, you are not alone. I have so many disabilities and can't seemed to get any help from the government. It is just wonderful...you get to put into all these programs then when you need it....forget it.

I am sorry to rant and rave but this just really got me going!! Try the patient assistance programs for the meds. Also go to this website http://www.freemeds.com or http://www.needymeds.com. I hope these websites will help.

Please send a letter to your congress person and pictures of your psoriasis for Capitol Hill Day.

I will pray for you. God Bless.

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** Originally posted by cflame **

Hi ~ I'm so sorry to hear of your situation. I too am unemployed and without insurance.

I woud highly recommend finding out asap what state programs are available to you, such as food/medical. Do it now!! I don't know where you live but here in New Mexico...it takes forever!!

From what I'm reading, it sounds like it would be much better to live somewhere else.... If you are female in New Mexico, you must be family planning to qualify for Medicaid and it would not even cover other doctors.

I applied for state coverage insurance and was approved.....only to be told, they have reached their cap and I am on a waiting list, so still no insurance!!

I went ahead to a rheumy and arranged to make payments.......I otherwise would be in a REALLY bad place. It's hard enough to get an appt.....see if they'll see you once or twice and you can pay monthly. Or get on a state health plan.

If you are even considering filing for disability, DO IT NOW!! Everything takes so long!!

I'm about to be homeless and the wait list for Section 8 is over a year long. Both my doctors say I can't work but what do I do?? I have to find a job to live.

I hope your state has better insurance and assistance programs...go apply!!

I've worked all my life and now that I need help.....I can't get it anytime soon, that is IF I qualify.

Sorry, I'm pretty down on everything right now.

Hope it goes better for you,

Christa

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** Originally posted by DebraT **

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation -- dealing with p/psa is horrible enough without adding to that worry about money, doctors and medicine. I sent this link to a friend recently and maybe it will help you too. A resource guide from MSN Money entitled: "Where to Turn When You're Desperate."

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/WhereToTurn WhenYoureDesperate.aspx

The most horrible part about all the social services is how difficult they are to access and receive.

Good luck!

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** Originally posted by cflame **

I would also recommend reading the consumer guide for getting and keeping health insurance in your state here, http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/

The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute has put together a helpful guide for each state. The guides include information on the financial aid programs available in the state as well as information on your rights as a patient.

Went to check out the info and wouldn't you know, due to lack of funding as of 9/1/08, the info is not available. Seems to be a theme for me.

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** Originally posted by cflame **

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation -- dealing with p/psa is horrible enough without adding to that worry about money, doctors and medicine. I sent this link to a friend recently and maybe it will help you too. A resource guide from MSN Money entitled: "Where to Turn When You're Desperate."

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/WhereToTurn WhenYoureDesperate.aspx

The most horrible part about all the social services is how difficult they are to access and receive.

Good luck!

Thanks again DebraT!!

I went to this article and already found a prescription saving card that is going to save me approx $50 on my monthly pain med......I cannot express my appreciation enough to all who take the time to post and provide us links that we may have never encountered.

Every little bit helps!! Thanks to everyone....Mike, you know who you are, the "King" of providing wonderful and important links!

Christa

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** Originally posted by enshock **

I really appreciate all the support. I have not worked in two years and probably need to look into disability. I keep hoping it will get better and I can have a real life again. I guess denial is not the state I need to be in right now!

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