Friday, 15 March 2013

And now I can breathe

I just checked the mail and found an envelope from Blue Cross addressed to me. Gulp.

You see, every year I have to have my MS medication, Avonex, approved by insurance. It's a special authorization prescription, meaning every year I have to fill in a form, send it to my neurologist to complete, and then send it on to the insurance company. Then I wait. Fingers crossed. They often reply suggesting I try the provincial prescription system for assistance first, but I don't meet the criteria. You have to be under the poverty line to get assistance. Knowing that, I still have to apply, get rejected (all by MAIL, which can take weeks), and then send proof of that rejection to the insurance company. Then I wait some more because the insurance company also sends verification only by mail. 

Timing this takes precision since I only ever have 4 weeks worth of Avonex at a time.

Blue Cross has said no in the past. [cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth] Paying for Avonex is no small feat. It's ~$1800 for a monthly prescription. I have paid out of pocket in the past and it's not something I'd be able to sustain long term. I suppose if I tried, I'd probably eventually hit the poverty line I'd need to qualify for provincial aid. Is that a silver lining?

So, back to my envelope, I am approved for yet another year. When I read the letter I felt a wave of relief followed by anger. I hate feeling this way every year. Resentment. I hate feeling like I am part of a faceless, nameless system and someone else controls the fate of my health coverage. Someone I never even talk to.

But for now, I am thankful. Another year of peace.

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