So for the last 5 years (and three babies) we have been paying $491 a month for the shots that control my rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine has saved my life. Because of it I am not a cripple. Period.
But it has been a burden to pay almost $500 a month for my shots and know that I need them the rest of my life. I have exhausted every avenue in hopes that we could get the bill reduced. Like any phone number with patient assistance for copays, bugged my doctor, called the company to tell them I will do a commercial for them because I love the drug so much, but hey maybe a commercial would help pay for the dang stuff!
No luck. Frustration and anger but really just relief, because what price would you put on being able to function in your daily life? What price to be able to zipper your pants and put on your socks? To brush your teeth and put on makeup. To run up the stairs...to not cry when you wake up in the morning? Priceless, I know. So we pay it easily and don't think about the over $25,000 we have spent on this medicine and what we could have done with the money. We don't even look at the credit card bill anymore.
I stay at home with my kids. We live on one income. We have no debt. I only get a pedicure maybe twice a year (usually once). I don't shop at the mall unless a blue moon comes. We are conservative spenders and have had the miracle of buying our first home as the reward this year. That was a miracle. We are so lucky. Even if it had no air conditioning and a dirt yard. Lucky lucky us. Even if my medicine feels like a million dollars some months.
We have already had miracles surrounding my medicine, for the biggest miracle being when we were set to move to a bigger apartment (like Uhaul parked out front) the same day we learned that my meds would be so much and that we wouldn't be able to afford the new apartment, we got a phone call so that we could apartment manage. It was a direct miracle for our situation. So we stayed in boxes for two weeks until we got the job and then found someone to take our lease and were able to save money for two and half years.
It has been a miracle just being on the medicine so I could lead the life I wanted to. But every few months I would get mad when I hear how if we worked for a bigger company or had such and such insurance (we have been on three difference insurances during 5 years and all charged the same amount) my shots would only cost $20. Twenty bucks, I can't even imagine. So sometimes I would ask my doctor again and he would refer me to a number, the worst being this one where I would have to set my alarm for 5 a.m. and write on the calendar the first day of the month to wait on the phone for an hour only to miss out on the assistant program month after month. It has been discouraging and I have become jaded.
So when my Aetna insurance person where I get my monthly refills commented again with a gasp about how much my copay was (this happens every month) she gave me another number. And asked if had looked into a copay assistance program. Yes I had. Nothing has worked. "We usually don't qualify because of income" I said. "Even though I wish it was different since we live in California and I have four kids." Jenny at Aetna said, "Would you please call this number first and then place your order. Please." Of course, anything, but I warned her I've tried everything and am now jaded.
Well, less than thirty minutes later I am now enrolled in a program with Enbrel (THE medicine) where I pay $10. Ten dollars and I am bawling my eyes out. Like I had to take a nap because I cried so much and got a headache and my house is still a mess and my mother in law is coming but oh well) Ten dollars. No personal questions asked even though I was prepared to pour out my story. Just my address and if I was on government assistance.
So I had a miracle today. And I wasn't even looking for one. Ten bucks. We might actually be able to save some money. The program has been around since April so I'm trying not to focus on the $3000 I could have saved if someone would have told me sooner.
I feel so blessed. I want to kiss that Jenny from Aetna. She truly was my angel.