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Remicade and Health Insurance in the US

Introduction:

I am Mo’ath, 27 years old, male from Jordan (google it if you don’t know it :) ).
I am a Ph.D Computer Engineering student. Lives in Nashville, Tennessee. I have been diagnosed with UC two years ago.

Some more about me:

I am a full time human. A graduate student, play Soccer, Play Playstation, I go to Gym, Hang out with friends, do lots f things, always can find the time to do things I like.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

I am stable these days. I am on Remicade since 6 months now.

Remicade and Health Insurance

I am Mo’ath, diagnosed with UC two years ago. I left my last work because of being very sick away from home in another country. I felt very bad at that time to think that I just wanna die, dont wanna work, play, study any more, I am just sick and very sick of being sick. But u all know, after we get better two months later after having lots of prednisolone pills, u finally get better.

I am always on Pentasa/Asacol, and take pridnisolone every time UC comes back. Till I become tired of Prednisolone and its side effects. They gave me Imuran, but did not work for me, brought me lots of blood problems that had me in the Hospital for 3 days, all blood test showed that Imuran did affect my body very bad, I stooped it immediately. Dr decided to go for Remicade, as I was not getting better for a long time.

I know Remicade has lots of side effects, but it is actually my cure now. I wish we all have the cure.

I am on Remicade now. Doctors say it is the last Med to be used now, after that they would need to remove the colon !!

Happily, I am stable after the fifth dose of Remicade. I have just moved to the United States, to do Ph.D Computer Engineering. I am supposed to get Health Insurance for International students in the US.

I have been checking the Insurance companies online, it seems that they would not cover an existing disease. Remicade is expensive, I don’t know how I can get the Remicade any more.

  • Do they sell it cheaper for students?
  • How you guys got the Remicade?
  • Do you buy it? How much it is?
  • What insurance would cover my Remicade?

Thank you all guys, hope we all get better soon :)

written by Mo’ath

submitted in the colitis venting area





6 Responses to “Remicade and Health Insurance in the US”

  1. AngelaFebruary 10, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Mo’ath,

    Did you look at health insurance provided by your university they’re usually open to international students I believe and not too bad in price (except you’ll still have to pay a deductible for each treatment). The ObamaCare that just passed prohibits health insurance companies from excluding people who have a pre-existing condition, but I’m not sure how that applies to health insurances that covers international students. Which visa are you on? If you are able to work in the U.S. that means you were given a social security number which means you don’t need international health insurances, you should be able to buy a regular one (domestic health insurance) that Obamacare applies to.

    Remicade is around $900 per 100mg. My dosage is 300mg every 5 weeks and with hospital bills it comes in around $2800 each time, HOWEVER, Remicade is covered by almost all US health insurances because it falls under the medial insurance not prescription insurance (as its given in the hospital). SO what you’ll pay varies on the deductible set by the insurance company.

    Your best bet is to talk to someone in your University’s International Student Center about your situation and the available health insurances, they can also get you in contact with someone at the companies to explain to you how it’d work or what offers are available.

    Don’t worry! This will work out! Also, you can only be considered a pre existing condition if you’re NOT currently on a health insurance. If you’ve always been on health insurance without a break its not a pre-existing condition.

    Good luck!

    Angela

    • MoathFebruary 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      Thanks for the kind reply Angela,

      For the university, ohh they give us links to 4 insurance companies that all dont cover pre-existing condition and they dont know what it means when you say I have UC. Obama’s new plan starts in 2014, I will need like 6 doses before 2014. Yes I have social security number and I can choose any Insurance company, I keep always checking, they take me to their websites wasting lots of time reading their benefits (for tens of companies) and at the end, I either find that they will cover Pre-existing only after 6-12 months, some they call it “Acute Onset Pre-existing Condition” which UC is not, so they dont cover it.

      I was fully covered in my country, all from the government for everyone has such disease. I came to the US on January 16 and since then I am not covered.

      I found something from the government (healthcare.gov) but to be eligible, I must have been uninsured in the US for six months, and I am not!

      I am on F-1 Visa and I do have SSN. Do you know any company that would cover UC as a pre-existing condition.? I know it might be expensive, expected, I will do it as it saves my life.

      Thx a lot fellows :)

  2. shelly in maineFebruary 10, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Also, there is a discount program for Remicade through Remistart…you can Google it. You just have to apply and have your Dr. fill it out. There are discount programs for most meds. There may be some Med assistance through CCFA as well.
    Best of luck with all, Shelly

    • MoathFebruary 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Thanks Shelly,

      I have checked the Remistart, they ask you to have an Insurance company that would cover my Remicade first, then they will pay a rebate for whatever a patient pays out-of-pocket for a max of 6000 a year. That is a great program for whom has an Insurance company that covers his/her Remicade first.

      I checked the CCFA as well but could not find anything helping in term of Insurance.
      Thank you…I am still struggling to find a company that would cover me…

  3. Debbie
    DebbieAugust 27, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Hi Moath!
    I hope this response to your post isn’t too late to help. I was recently in the same boat as you – got kicked off my parents’ insurance, could not get new coverage because of UC, and had just started on Remicade.
    Check out http://www.jjpaf.org/how-we-help/

    Johnson and Johnson manufacture Remicade, and they offer a financial assistance program. Your eligibility will be based on your reported income on your last tax report. If you are eligible J&J sends the medication to your infusion site, leaving you to just cover the cost of the clinic’s services. I usually only pay about $500 per infusion, compared to $2000+.

    I searched many other websites that give financial assistance for expensive medications, but none included Remicade.
    Good Luck!

  4. VikramSeptember 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Dear Moath,

    I am PhD student in Brisbane, Australia.
    I have been following your post carefully because I too have been diagnosed with IBD and they are gonna put me on Remicade.

    Since I was planning to move to USA in 2014, I am worried if the cost will be covered by the insurance company or not. Any info and advice will be greatly appreciated.

    In Australia non of the insurance covers the cost of medication for International students.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Vikram

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