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Insurance in MS

I've just been "unofficially" diagnosed (MD friend did exam/took history, no MRI or spinal, reflex tests done) after letting my HMO insurance lapse a year ago after 15 years of non-use except for mammograms. I'm 63 and had mistakenly (naturally something big would develop immediately afterwards) thought I could get to the medicare-elligible age of 65 without problems.

It seems I've had symptoms for 5 years, maybe 7.

I've gotten my old coverage back (12 month lapse) but they do not pay for any medications whatsoever. It's $400/month. I've not asked them about MS yet. I could probably upgrade this coverage.

My disease is beginning to be debilitating - I have odd small pains, cannot lift my right arm straight up over my head all the way, I bump into doorways and stumble sometimes, have congnition problems and tiredness. So, questions for everyone:

1)What is the BEST, most complete insurance coverage you know of for MS? Please tell me of your experiences with this, everyone, and name names so the companies are findable.

2)How important is it that I be treated immediately with interferon drugs so as to delay getting any worse? Obviously this relates to the insurance question. Would you, just guessing, recommend I wait another 18 months when I turn 65 ? Insurance would probably cost - what - $6000 a year….

3)if you had it to do over again how would you handle the insurance issue?

I appreciate VERY much the time a clear and thoughtful response takes.
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replied December 30th, 2009
Community Volunteer
This is a tough one.

If you are not working you could try to obtain a policy just for yourself however more than likely they will have stipulations; it is up to you to read the fine print and if it is what you want then sign such. Cost will vary from insurance company to insurance company.

You have not been officially dx with MS and I take it that your MD friend findings would not be considered part of your medical history so if your insurance company wanted to check out any pre-existing...they would find none, correct?

I do know that MS injections can be costly. When I was injecting Copaxone...ins would be billed $1200 monthly and my copay I believe $50 per month as well.

Wait until you are 65? If your symptoms are getting worse, 18 months I would not wait if at all possible.

There are progams out there that can help ones who are uninsured and if and when you are officially dx'd with MS or another disease...there are programs that can help with cost of medications / tests.

Best Wishes,

Zig
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