Health Insurance and Psoriasis
Having psoriasis is terrible and health insurance is always a fight when you live with the condition. However, what happens when you have psoriasis and NO health insurance? This was the situation I found myself in for several years.
Navigating it all
Obamacare has allowed me to have health insurance. You see, before, I could not get insurance because of my pre-existing condition. Maybe if some of the insurance companies had psoriasis in their family, they would not deem it a pre-existing condition.
It was tricky to see a health professional that would treat my psoriasis. However, I did find ways for that to happen. I thought I would share my story with you in case someone does not have health insurance either. You can get treatment like I did if you spend some time being proactive about it.
No insurance? Try low-income hospitals
In my city, there is a low-income hospital. The biggest drawback is you will have to wait a long time, especially the first time you choose to go. Once you are an established patient, it doesn't take that long. I am actually able to see a rheumatologist there.
I have plaque psoriasis that is still very active. Treatment is a must for me, at my worst I was 80% covered. My rheumatologist is just like any other and appointments usually go just like any other you would have in the private sector. In addition, one benefit to low-income hospitals is there social services department. They assist patients in accessing specialty medicine like biologics.
Can clinical trials be considered treatment?
Another choice for psoriasis treatment is looking into clinical trials. With clinical trials, you have doctor's care at no fee. You are monitored very closely because it is new medicine being tested. Medicine is always free so it can be a beneficial option.
I was in a clinical trial. At the first of every month, I went through testing. By testing, I mean EKG, lab work and other tests all at no charge. Here's the best part of a clinical trial: you are compensated for travel. The result for me was a drug that was working on my psoriasis.
What are other insurance resources?
The first two categories were ones I found on my own. Another really great resource is talking to someone at the National Psoriasis Foundation and utilizing the Patient Navigation Center. There is always someone there to guide you to any resources that are available.
Trust me, I have used them many times. They are always incredibly friendly and go beyond to help people in the psoriasis community. You can find them listed on the National Psoriasis website at www.psoriasis.org.
Finding the right treatment
Not having insurance is difficult when living with psoriasis. You definitely need to see a doctor to be treated. There are options out there. You just have to be willing to search for them. Hopefully, you have found three new options listed above that you did not know about.
Do not give up. Your health is too important. Especially given the fact that psoriasis can lead to other health issues. Psoriasis is the gift that keeps on giving.
In all seriousness, do not give up looking for resources that can help you get medical attention, with or without insurance. It's out there. Especially, if you are like me and stubborn enough to not give up until you find it.
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