Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blue Cross/Blue Shield is trying to kill me.

The Blue Cross/Blue Shield logos. At the moment the first represents crucified patients and the second the venomous adder that bites them.
When the docs delivered me of a bouncing, five pound baby stromal tumor early last year, they put me on Gleevec, which is pretty much a specific for GISTs. The problem is that Gleevec costs somebody $7,000 a month -- in my case, Blue Cross/Blue Shield with a policy through my wife's work -- and all that we had to pay was a $40.00 per month co-pay. (Rosey has been participating in BC/BS through her work for the past thirty years.)
That $40.00 co-pay? No longer. We were informed by a cheerful telephone insurance drone yesterday that my co-pay has been increased. "Significantly," I was told (they reached me on my cell phone at the range where I was harvesting expended lead out of the backstop). "Uh huh," I replied. "How 'significantly?'" Well, they said happily, from $40.00 to approximately $3,500 per month.
The thing is, there is no cheaper substitute for Gleevec. We are currently investigating all our options and getting more information, so I'll have more later. In the meantime, perhaps you will forgive me if I conclude that Blue Cross/Blue Shield is trying to kill me.

38 comments:

Storm'n Norm'n said...

from $40.00 to approximately $3,500 per month


OUCH !!!

Happy D said...

Huge increase, Obama"care" I presume.

SWIFT said...

I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield and every year they send me a form to fill out, "to update their records". This form is nothing more than a blatant attempt to data mine. Some of the questions have nothing to do with Blue Cross /Blue Shield. My suggestions is: fight back. I am not intimidated by their power.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mike...

I have had Crohn's Disease since 1978 and went through the same thing earlier this year with one of my meds, so I know what you're going through. When I told my doctor what was going on he just shook his head and said it's happening all over. In my case I was able to work it out. I'll have you in my thoughts. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Dave S

Anonymous said...

I have asked, since obammy care passed, what do they think will happen when the death panels get started? What does an armed terminal patient do when the death panels give them nothing left to lose?

Happy Birthday from BCBS, right Mike?

Slobyskysa Rotchikokov said...

Pretty sure it is obomacare driving prices now; I can't imagine BC/BS is just suddenly trying to grow richer Remember that the Abomination of Desolation at Penn Avenue has already driven some durable medical equipment manufacturers out of business. I know this doesn't help you, but I do think the prices are being driven by the Kenyan.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you of all people fall right into the trap as designed. Your outrage should be directed at the cause of this problem. The administration is counting on people being outraged at "those evil companies" as they work hard to regulate them out of business. The "affordable" care scam forces those "evil" insurance companies to cover "children" up to age 26. They also can not deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The thugs in Washington are smiling at your story, and will be counting on you to help lead the charge for true government health care (single payer). Because, after all, evil capitalism is the reason for your co-pay increase. Pay no attention to the Fascists behind the curtain...

Mama Liberty said...

Have you discussed becoming part of clinical trials with your doctor? I would think that there might still be some testing going on with Gleevec. It is fortunate that it is used on CML, since GIST is rare. No drug would likely ever be developed for that alone. Orphan diseases are horrible that way.

The upside to that, however, is that rare diseases are sometimes the subject of studies, and they look hard for people to participate.

Don't know if you are aware of the GIST support organization: http://www.gistsupport.org/
They might be able to help you find a clinical trial or other option for the medication.

Anonymous said...

Gleevec is an expensive drug. Lot's of capital invested in it's development. It's high price is pretty typical for what are called 'designer drugs'. Obamacare has nothing to do with the high price. There is no generic equivalent yet. But you might be able to get it cheaper through Canadian sources.

Anonymous said...

Check with the manufacturer. Sometimes they have programs where those in need can get the drug directly from them for free or almost nothing.

Also, doctors are mostly clueless about how expensive the drugs they prescribe are. Ask your doc if there is anything that comes close to doing the same thing as Gleevec but costs a lot less.

Anonymous said...

Research "Gerson therapy"

Anonymous said...

From $40.00 to approximately $3,500 per month. right.

I submit these scumbag insurance companies are on the verge of learning a lesson in Unintended Consequences..by the thousands. Then we'll see if their own "insurance" covers burial.

Anonymous said...

Contact the company that makes Gleevac and see if you can get humanitarian assistance. Which means cheaper

There are several financial resources available on GLEEVEC.com , including the Novartis Patient Assistance program. If you would like to learn more, you can call the GLEEVEC Reimbursement hotline at 1-877-GLEEVEC (1-877-453-3832).

Good Luck.

Ned said...

Contact the manufacturer of the medicine directly. Some pharmaceutical companies have discounts the offer directly to patients who must have the medicine but cannot afford it.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, anyway Mike! The same thing is happening with my wife's insurance. So much for "if you like your plan, you can keep it", huh?

Anonymous said...

Given the risk, it won't surprise me if membership details for death panels are as closely held as the identify of state sanctioned executioners in criminal proceedings. (And for the same reason).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like more HBOT is in order.

Anonymous said...

Canadian pharmacy. Thirty tablets, 100mg, 299.99. Do your due diligence before ordering. US patent expires in 2014 and generics should be available here when it does.

Anonymous said...

I've asked myself that same question...what will we old, infirm, ARMED Oathkeepers do when Obamacare refuses our needs?
I remember a Denzel Washington movie where his kid needed an expensive treatment an his insurance denied it.
He took over a hospital and held hostages.
I don't believe in holding innocents in jeopardy.
I do believe in destroying that which tries to kill me.
III/0317

luagha said...

Check your contract, check your values, check their work, get a lawyer if you need one, bring your wife's work's lawyer into it as needed because they're the ones with the contract.

Your state also has an insurance commissioner who, you never know, might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

There is nobody more dangerous that a desperate person with NOTHING left to loose.....

Anonymous said...

from gleevac's website

"need financial help?"
800-282-7630

worth a try..

Anonymous said...

"Affordable" health care at its best

yeah, affordable for whom?

its a cloak for a new wave of death camps, this one you get to live in the "belief" you have freedoms..and don't die in a cell

Ashrak said...

Some will say this is Republicams fault. All the opposition to Obamacare. But the truth is that government of lawyers by lawyers for lawyers have caused this via "tegulation" of commerce. To that extent republicans ARE to blame - as they stand down in the face of the bastardization of the commerce clause accomplished by lawyers over a century ago.

Mike, you are, like many of the rest of us, what amounts to collateral damage. Insurance companies defend themselves from tyrannical aggression by an out of control government. Your ire is misplaced. It's not them OR the drug manufacturer at fault here. It is government intrusion into the free market that's at fault.

If not for the long arm of government you would be able seek out competition based solutions to your situation. Yes, across state lines (as pubbies offered as "alternative" would help BUT fedgov CONTROLS that too - so it's really not an alternative solution).

It's not BCBS trying to kill you - it's government control over them that the company is trying to defend against that has you taking incoming fire. I rarely disagree with you but I do here on this point do so profoundly.

I suspect when you think it through you may well agree with what I'm saying.

RVN11B said...

Now who in the hell, aside from millionaires, can afford almost four grand in prescription fees?

Now I have this sinking feeling I'll be next.

Anonymous said...

Contact you state insurance commission , good luck

Anonymous said...

They just think you are too expensive and want to try to get you out of their hair.

Read your plan and see if they are allowed to do it and if so did they do it as they say they must (proper notice and review) and all avenues you have to contest the rate increase.

I have had insurers try to do things like that in the past. Let them know you will fight them tooth and nail and they will usually drop the increase and go after someone else.

Anonymous said...

Mike -- Rick Simpson Oil might prove a more permanent and far less expensive solution.

If you search "rick simpson", "hemp oil" and/or "cannabis oil", there's an awful lot of smoke for there not to be any fire...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0psJhQHk_GI

How to make: http://phoenixtears.ca/make-the-medicine/

Doesn't look like there's any legal states near you, though: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

Might have to smuggle...

ATOM ANT said...

Have you seen this:
http://tinyurl.com/lrcf8zb

Anonymous said...

If you haven't heard it yet then don't forget you heard it here first. Obamadon'tcare or the Unaffordable Care Act was never, ever designed to give people a cheaper option. First it was designed to give government more power over us. Second, after Marxists Progressive Liberals started to loot the Socialist Security savings accounts of average Americans back in 1960 in order to pay for their Socialist Utopia that oh by the way crashed and burned. Exhibit A- Detoilet. They saw all that money just sitting there doing nothing. They decided to get their grubby Marxist claws on it and just leave an IOU to the person whose money was gone. Fast forward to a few years back when the boomers began to retire and the trolls in DC discovered that with Socialist Security, medicare, and medicare part B they had a combined unfunded liability as of right now of $72 trillion dollars that they can't pay. Not even that much money in the entire economy. Forget about the $17 trillion deficit it is the $72 trillion that is killing us. So, what to do. Easy. Pass a law that would deny health care and treatments to as many of the aging boomers as possible to hasten then deaths so the government does't have to pay them what was stolen from them. This has been the object of the excercise all along. Kill off as many recipients as they can. When first enacted SS began paying at 65. At the time the life expectency was 61 for white males who made up 70% of the work force. The system was a tax that no one was ever supposed to draw from. The government planned all along to keep the money.Now advances in medicine have given us longer life spans and that impacts SS payouts as well as some outlive the monies they actually paid in. This is nothing but Obama, Liberal Democrat sponsored genocide with anyone 60 or over as the target. Enough said. Don't listen to what these fucks tell you. Watch what the bastards actually do.

Ed said...

That is the type of "affordable" health care that is available to all. It is only expensive if you become sick.

Anonymous said...

"If somebody tries to kill you, you kill them right back."

Anonymous said...

Mike,
I had blue shaft years ago. They denied my claim when my son was born, they said they didn't cover dental! I called and asked if they knew where babies come from.

FG said...



We'll continue to pray for you, Mike.

Chaplain Tim said...

This would be the same BC/BS that (26 years ago) denied that they had taken my premiums for six months after my son was born early, and when I showed them the receipts, refunded my premiums. The same BC/BS that jumped my osteoporosis treatment from $25/month last year to $1000/month this year- after paying for coverage for 18 years (work chose the plan, not me).
Yeah, there's going to be some "unintended consequences" when enough people get shat upon by the insurance companies that helped write Obamacare.

Anonymous said...

I suggest NOT CALLING your insurance carrier to complain. I recall someone who called Humana and got goaded into losing his cool. ALL their phone calls are recorded and they love to bring criminal charges against a caller who gets into a shouting match.

JAQUEBAUER said...

CALL YOUR GOOD FOR LITTLE OR NOTHING CONGRESSMAN, LOCAL TV AND RADIO, FOX NEWS, AND MAKE A STINK OVER THIS. GET AS MUCH COMMUNITY SUPPORT AND GO PUBLIC. I have BCBS of Illinois under my wifes group plan, and so far they have not raised my co pays. I too have serious chronic health issues, a Kidney transplant, and the many very expensive immunpsupressive drugs needed to stay alive. Once I lose the insurance my costs will skyrocket to over $25k a year, more than I can pay. I may have to get divorced and dispose of all my assets and change my name to Gomez at the time my insurance goes away, then I will be taken care of. One can bet Obamacare has something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

I was just comparison shopping it , and see prices for the 100mg ranging from $3.50 to $11 generic and $30-$100 brand , all on the same page no less .