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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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PositiveInPVD
Fanatic

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 55
Loc: Providence, Rhode Island
Need help with Meds Assistance
      #212952 - 10/27/06 02:48 PM

Hello all:

Been a while since I posted here, but what happened today has led me to post. Well I have been unemployed since May, and have managed to get by stringing along my meds until now. So now I decide to go and seek Ryan White help in Rhode Island. I had looked into a while back and I was discouraged, so I put it off until today. I went to the local ASO and we went through some stuff, and they came down to income, and you have to be no more than 400% of federal poverty level. Well my issue is that between bonus and my wages until Mid May alone had me above this (not to mention adding on what I have earned on unemployment insurance). Needless to say, I didn't qualify, and I am about out of meds, and was left leaving with the social worker basically with, "Theres nothing that we can do" How about that for a shot in the ass? I understand policies and requirement and having a cutoff at some point, but what good does the fact that the first half of the year was good with good money and insurance and everything do for where I am now, about to run out of any savings, unemployment, etc. Even if I didnt, we all know its hard to afford 1500 a month in meds?

So anyways, is there anyone out there that knows another way to get free meds (Sustiva and Truvada)? Otherwise it is looking like I will go several months, not to mention the possibility of getting precluded of preexisting conditioins if and when I find a good paying job with health insuarnce. What a precarious situation I never thought I would be in. I guess sometimes being poor and making crap money in the long run pays off, god forbid someone makes good money early in the year and life takes a bad turn (which is just that, life!). Doesnt make sense. Anyone with suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Todd

--------------------
CD4 808 (41%), VL <75, liver still functioning great,lipids normal!!!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Need help with Meds Assistance new
      #212962 - 10/27/06 04:47 PM

It's a hell of a situation isn't it. I purposely keep my income low just because if it was any higher I wouldn't qualify for programs and I couldn't afford to keep myself alive without the help. I had a job that paid me 35,000 but that made me lose beneifts. And when I figured out how much more the job actually cost me in terms of lost beneiftes. I found out I was losing money. So today I'm back at a job that just pays me 12,000. It sucks. Can't get ahead if you want to say alive.

My suggestion. And I'm serious. Lower your income.

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PositiveInPVD
Fanatic

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 55
Loc: Providence, Rhode Island
Re: Need help with Meds Assistance new
      #212972 - 10/27/06 06:23 PM

Thanks for the advice, but my situation is just that I am out of work now. I am an educated professional with mid level experience in quality control microbiology. I will get another job eventually with great health insurance paid for. I think until that time comes I will be with no to qualifying low income. The dilemma was that my money made earlier this year (40K alone through May) in and of itself precluded me from qualifying for free care or prescription help. Now I am not sure what will happen come Jan 1,, if I can reapply based on what my income is in 2007. If that is indeed the case, then no problem, I will qualify. There is no job that wouldn pay me more than the minimal to qualify that wouldnt also provide me health insurance anyways. The ultimate goal is to get the 70K a year job again, and so yes, I dont qualify, but I get insurance at work. Standard practice in pharma industry is that health benes start on the first day of employment. Now preexisting conditions....thats another story. It will depend on the insurance provider how they handle and dig into my history. On one occasion, one did dig, but I had the Cert of Coverage to prove I had continual coverage. When I took this job, I also did not have a 60+ lapse in coverage, but the insurance carrier never questioned anything anyways (even though I was golden), so it was a moot point. The point is, I hope my next companies insurance provider is a good one, and that also is a matter of how much the company pays into the quality of the plan(s) they are offering.

And on your note, I appologize it is so tough. This is my first experience with how the unfortunate have many more worries day in and out trying to get my meds. I appologize that yours doesnt seem as temporary as mine. My frustration was just that, even so much in the temporary, I am having difficulties getting aid. I can only imagine to go through it for the long haul, with paperwork, and as you allude keeping qualifying factors in mind, and goverment budgets getting squeezed, and so forth. My best to you, and thank you for the response.


--------------------
CD4 808 (41%), VL <75, liver still functioning great,lipids normal!!!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Need help with Meds Assistance new
      #214318 - 11/13/06 01:08 AM

I don't know all the details of your situation, so forgive me if I state something you already know. First, if you were covered under a group plan at your previous employer, you are entitled to COBRA coverage for a period of anywhere between 12-18 months. COBRA basically guarantees continuation of current coverage, but the catch is that you MUST pay the premiums yourself (at 102% of what your employer paid). This will ensure that your coverage continues until you are able to find new employment. If you cannot afford the premium due to loss of income, there are federal and some state programs that offer COBRA premium assistance. Check out the Kaiser Family website for a report they did on all of the federal programs offered to HIV+ individuals. It was a report published in 2004. I would attach it here to save you the trouble but can't...

Good luck.

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