One of the many reasons why I love living in the USA is that there are so many avenues and organizations for every single issue that you have. Here are a few websites that I have come across that those with sickle cell and other chronic medical conditions may be able to find solace from. Check if you are eligible and sign up to get some financial relief!
Work From Home
Alpine Access www.alpineaccess.com
One of the first things that you lose when you are having constant sickle cell pain and crisis is that you lose your job and ability to pay your bills. Well, Alpine Access may be your next step. This is a work from home organization based in the US and Canada that pays you to work over the internet and via the phone. Great for short term gigs, overtime, disabled or retired folks. All you need is a viable phone line and computer and you are good to go. Check it out at https://jobs.alpineaccess.com/
Get Paid for Being Sick
So you get sick often and you visit your doctor so much that you have started seeing him more than you see your own parents. Well there is an avenue for you to make this untenable, painful disease work for you. Sign up for a Sickness Insurance that will pay you a certain amount for every day that you are sick. Some plans stipulate that you must have a job (and salary) before you can sign up. Also, some require you to pay into the insurance plan for a certain number of months before you start getting payments. My favorite one is Combined Insurance. They send an agent to your house. You can also sign up with Aflac if you prefer a name-brand organization, although their rates may not be comparable. For my plan (which I’ve been on for about 4 years), I pay $29/month and get$120/day for everyday I’m sick and/or hospitalized. In addition, you also get paid for the convalescence days AFTER your discharge, up to the same number of days that you were hospitalized for. To claim, your doctor has to fill out a form, and you attach your medical bill. You get a check within 10 business days.
Pay for Your Iron Overload Medications
This is probably one of the more expensive medications that we may have to take.
The Chronic Disease Fund. Visit www.cdfund.org or call (877)968-7233
The Chronic Disease Fund® is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization helping patients with chronic disease, cancers or life-altering conditions obtain the expensive medications they need. They are not financed by the government and hence only service limited diseases. They do not cover sickle cell disease, but there is a choice for Chronic Iron Overload. To qualify, you have to make less than $50,000/year. They will pay for Exjade or Desferal. Your out of pocket cost will be only $10/month. To apply Click HERE.
Co-Pay for your Other Prescriptions
Plan B: RxOutreach. Visit www.rxoutreach.org or call (800)769-3880
If you are on Medicare/Medicaid or on any insurance plan, there is a copay attached to every prescription you fill. In addition, some plans do not pay beyond a certain amount of pills a month, and you might need more due to our illness. RxOutreach fills the void. You qualify based on income, and they offer you medications at a heavily discounted rate. Therefore, if you do have to pay for pills out of pocket, you won’t have to pay such grossly inflated prices. Most drugs on their roster can be purchased for $20 for a 90-day supply. The only drawback is that once you are approved, you have to mail your prescription and copay to them, and they mail the medications to you. Also they don’t cover pain medications, but they do cover stuff like Hydroxyurea, Zofran, Xanax, heart, blood pressure AND diabetic meds.
View eligibility table HERE.
View full list of medications covered HERE.
Need Help with Medical Quagmires and Financial Resources
The Patient Advocacy Foundation visit them at http://www.patientadvocate.org/ or call 1-800-532-5274
This organization does not pay for anything, but they will help you locate resources in your community. You are assigned a Patient Advocate that will go over your medical/financial needs. They will try to help you find health insurance, and can help you with the filing/appeal process for Medicaid/Medicare. In addition, if your health is starting to affect your attendance and your job, they can provide you with Disability assistance and a patient advocate to help save your job. On top of that PAF also provides Debt crisis intervention for your medical bills.
You can do all these things, or some of them depending on your needs. The most important thing is that you don’t give up until you have the medical bill taken care of, off your record, and paid for. It can be done—you just have to figure out how to do it, and have the patience and fortitude to navigate the roadblocks.