Kim Cantor, Lupus Foundation of America’s Senior Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, discusses the Foundation’s Medicare for Patients RX (MAPRx) Coalition
Sharing a Marketplace Experience
Candice Erickson, 27, began experiencing lupus symptoms after the birth of her first child. However, she initially attributed her rashes, hair loss and deep bone pain to “those things people go through after having a baby.” While pregnant for the second time, her symptoms went into remission, but after giving birth to her second baby, her disease worsened, to the point of being unable to walk.
The Oklahoman mother of two small children and part-time school teacher visited countless doctors for more than six years before she was diagnosed. During lupus flares she would experience joint pain so severe she felt she could sense it in her bones. To complicate matters further, when her husband changed jobs, the insurance at his new company was so expensive that her family wasn’t able to sign up for it. And because of her pre-existing health condition, there were no other policies available to her that provided the level of coverage she sought at an affordable price.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Candice and her family now qualify for a Blue Cross Blue Shield policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The family’s new policy provides better coverage at a price that is realistic for her needs. In addition to her standard lupus treatments, the new coverage also allows her to opt for physical therapy and certain non-traditional therapies that are important to her. “We have a slightly larger copay but there is no cost for prescriptions, which will definitely balance out since my monthly prescriptions are pretty high.”
“The Insurance Marketplace is the exact opposite of what I thought it would be. My new insurance has better coverage and the price is cheaper […]. Now I can go back to my doctor who originally diagnosed me and I am able to get the testing done needed to start my treatments that are also covered under our plan. This means so much.”
Candice has her good and bad days; sometimes it’s good weeks and bad months. During the good or the bad, the Health Insurance Marketplace has helped her family find a better solution, tailored to her specific health care preferences.
Erin Kotecki Vest, blogger and a lupus activist from Los Angeles, discusses why she and her family decided to enroll in Obamacare and how it has benefited her life living with lupus.