RE: Medicare eligibilty & IVIG

December 26, 2006 at 1:29 am

๐Ÿ™‚ Although I mostly only read posts now, I thought I might give a little info about my own IVIG (SSD/Medicare) experiences. I have been receiving IVIG since 2000. At the beginning I went to an infusion center and the cost (which is absolutely horredous) was paid by Medicare/Medicaid. During a relapse in 2002 I was put on homecare. I am single, lost my job due to this illness and luckily (with some great help from social workers) received SSD relatively quickly. Sailed along getting IVIG but when switched to homecare was totally paid by Meidcaid. Don’t be afraid to look into Medicaid help in your own state. IVIG is VERY expensive and although you may not qualify for total cost coverage you may very well be eligible under a very reasonable “share the cost program.” (In my own case the cost of IVIG is so high I was eligible for full cost coverage). Everything was going along well and the MEDICARE PART D came along last December. Infusion pharmacy in Dec. told me I would have to go back to a hospital infusion setting because they could not supply IVIG and even break even.
That’s when my homework began. As a Medicare beneficiary (under retirement age) I either had to pick a Part D Plan or go with whomever I was assigned to. I researched on the SSS website which last year had a way to pick a plan based on the medications you needed. (Hope it is still there.) It came up with 2 insuers who covered all of my meds, including IVIG. Although I missed 2 months of treatments to get everything in line, I have to say that my home infusions are going along BETTER than before.
I guess my point is that you have to research and be your champion, don’t settle for whatever you are told. Even though there has REALLY been an IVIG shortage this past year, I thank God, that I was lucky or informed enough to pick a good Medicare Part D provider who has contracted with a terrific home care/infusion pharmacy that I haven’t felt the shortage even though I receive 5 infusion days every 4 weeks. It was a great deal of very tiring work and phone calls but so far so good. (Knock on wood) ๐Ÿ˜‰
E-mail me and I’ll give you the gory details of my fight.