Friday, October 4, 2013

Health insurance is neither healthy nor insures health

My HumatroPen...growth hormone injection pen device
Photo description: A green plastic case with grey lining, holding a white and lime green cap, two pen injection needles in sterile packaging, and the pen device that is white & lime green with a dial on the right and the orange and clear medication vial on the left side.

I was so happy a couple weeks ago that my endocrinologist's office finally got in gear and responded to one of the drug companies' patient assistance programs.  A representative from Eli Lilly worked with me to get set up on my growth hormone replacement while they worked with my insurance (for free!).  The case worker would call me when more information was available as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina would not tell her which type of synthetic growth hormone was in their formulary.  It was amazing, I was hopeful....until I get a series of weird phone calls that hinted that not all was well in pituitary medicationland.

My campus pharmacy called on Wednesday telling me that a medication was called in and they wanted to know what to do with it...but couldn't tell me in a voice mail which medication they were referring to or which doctor called it in.  Thursday morning I received a voice mail from my endo's office saying that they called in a prescription for Omnitrope (a different drug company's medication....I was initially prescribed Humatrope from Eli Lilly).  Today I get a call from the representative at Eli Lilly that my insurance won't cover Humatrope and I will be dropped from their medication program.

A corporation, in this case an insurance company, should not be able to tell my doctor what medication I should be put on.  If they want to go that route, they need to be transparent about what they will or won't cover.  I should not have my health screwed up like this.  This is medication that will likely have a copay beyond what I can afford (my current monthly health expenses are 25% of my paycheck....that doesn't include making payments for my surgery, or any of my doctors to hit my deductible).

The sad part?  Somehow this is still "affordable" according to ORomneyCare (the Affordable Care Act was initially Romney's idea, not President Obama's).  Somehow, I need to treat my body like my car (something that I have to insure to be able to use), but I don't get to choose whether or not I have a body, or what kind of body.  I didn't choose this clunker, but I do have to live with it.  I treat this clunker as well as I can with what I have, and while I don't tend to love my body, it's the only one I have.  Want to know what's more broken than this body?  The United State "healthcare" system.

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