After 3 tough months battling the insurance company to continue coverage for Daphne’s medicine (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) that may partially reverse her disease…
I WON!!!
Excitement is an understatement 🙌🏻
My last update on this topic was winning the appeal to get a 3 month courteous fill to give me time to fight them, many hours on the phone with various agents, trying to figure out the right form and process, trying to get the doctors office to do their part because in the end I can do all the work except complete the final paperwork, so annoying but thankful they stuck it through with me and I will be sending them a sweet 🎂 treat for being so sweet (a little exaggerated 🙄), but my dad always taught me “you attract more bees with honey”!
A special shout out to Paula at the insurance company.  I fell in love with the first agent I made an appeal with several months ago but Paula took it to a whole new level and really cared and took ownership in helping me.

You may think it’s easy but seriously some people and processes are setup just to be difficult just to make you quit, I swear.  

Follow me for a minute here…. 

Believe me it’s true, in my own job I see it and even play off it ( sorry not sorry sometimes) so that is just the case in other careers as well.  

One thing that has always given me the edge to not giving up are those people that say “Who’s going to own it?  Are you going to own it?”  They are saying this knowing good and well they should be the ones owning it but you being the better person, steps up and says, yes I will.

In the back of your head your doing this, because 1. You’re so good at it 😜, 2. You will learn valuable lessons along the way, 3. At some point in the future it will benefit you.

So thank you to all those who have done this.  You have gotten me to this point.  Thank you for teaching me how to help others want to do this as well. My rule in dealing with the insurance folks is to be nice, courteous, understanding, listen, be realistic in what I am asking for and take ownership of the issue.  Paula did all of those things and more.  She called me everyday when she said she would, to check on the status and she made the final step to get this approved happen!  Paula my dear, you have just made my dreams for Advocacy for Daphne’s Lamp a reality.  

I think this shirt was made for me and every other Mito mama I have met!

***It’s not my most glamorous picture but I will be honest I am usually in pajamas by 6pm and tonight squirmy little Daphne would not cooperate very well but that’s my life.

This is just the beginning, I am going to D.C to meet with Congress June 29th and I will be pushing for the next big thing.

Until I have to appeal again in another year, I am making steps to make this fight even easier, stay tuned for those details.

This is for my daughter Daphne and what the future of those involved in with #daphneslamp will look like. I don’t take NO for an answer and I will put up one hell of a fight, so get ready. Get on board with the movement it’s going to be BIG!

#mitostrong 💚 #daphnestrong

One thankful and Happy Mama tonight 😊

The Insurance Fight

For those of you that are reading this and are not living and breathing the many struggles of the Mito World, here is a little explanation as to why this post is so important to me:

There is no cure or treatment for Mitochondrial Diseases, so drug companies rarely spend the dollars to research drugs that will help improve the lives of those living with a Mitochondrial Disease.  This means over the counter vitamins/supplements are the only options for the “Mito Cocktail”.

Today I had some time and decided to pick the “fight” back up with the Insurance company that I started Jan 1 when I tried to REFILL a prescription that I had been getting for months for Daphne.

Dec 2016 the Rx was $0

Jan 2017 the Rx was $50

We could get a similar drug over the counter for $15 but it is 500mg and Daphne is prescribed 300mg.

Your probably saying not a big deal just split the capsule and call it a day.  Yeah we did that until I found a compound pharmacy to make the EXACT dose that she needed and ladies and gents I worked hard on that so I was not going to be told different now in 2017.

*Note a capsule cannot be perfectly divided as the contents inside are not guaranteed to be equally distributed.  So you see my driver here?  I want it to be perfect for my child, she deals with enough crap we cannot control, this I can.

Well I had a great experience with Gloria from Georgia at the end of 2016 figuring out why insurance would not cover this drug and how the pharmacy was running it incorrectly and how a filler they use was not an allowable cost and she got the pharmacy to just give me the $9 filler for free.

*Note I have a little history with this pharmacy, they screwed up a very, very expensive prescription for my dog and I did not flip out on them so yeah basically they owe me big since they didn’t lose their license over that.  My only comment with a smile on my face was, good thing it was just my dog and she is still alive and you know my daughters Rx is filled here so don’t screw that up or we will have a problem, love mama bear.  So yeah I basically get whatever I want from them.

So when I started having issues I wanted Gloria back but Jessie didn’t want to give her to me and he wanted to help and said I understand and will call you back in 45 minutes.  Over a month later and yeah I was real busy in that time….nothing from Jessie.  Don’t worry Jessie I will never ask for you so you will never have to deal with me.

Today I called and spoke to a few people and a few different numbers and was frustrated as this was not how things were handled in 2016 and then had to hang up on them when a coworker came by (probably someone watching out for me above did that) and so I called back and spoke to the most lovely of humans and I forgot her name.  Anyhow she was with Express Scripts within our insurance.

Lovely lady in Express Scripts let’s call her “G” walked me through, answered all my questions, probably appreciated my knowledge to date and gave me the tools to be even more informed and have all kinds of access at my finger tips.

  • I learned my In Network out of pocket max (OOPM) which includes Prescriptions not just Medical ( I did not know that, you will see why that is important in a min)
  • I got access to express scripts online which shows me the out of pocket stuff, all prescriptions filled and the cost since we have had the plan, mail ordering, etc.
  • I learned that the drug in question was $0 to us in 2016 b/c our out of pocket max of $7,000 was met (I took a big gulp and said what, wait, how, I did not pay that much)*
  • I learned that our doctor can call in a larger quantity of her prescription and I can get more for the $50 for now until our OOPM is met.  UMM YEAH!
  • I also asked how I can get other supplements we buy that are not a prescription to go towards our out of pocket max and its simple….well kind of, our Doc has to file an appeal on our behalf and ask for an exception to include the cost of the over the counter meds towards our OOPM deductible.

*You may have known this and maybe I did since I answered the questions that I asked but basically if you get a RX filled that costs $5,000, insurance pays $4,000 and your EOB says you owe $1,000 (eventhough we never pay what the EOB says) that $1,000 goes to my out of pocket max.

SO….I called her Mito Doc Nurse, explained my craziness, she was excited and said let me put the request into the doctor.  I am asking right now for a 3 month supply for the $50 versus the 1 month supply and I also asked for him to appeal the ubiquinol and for him to provide a larger quantity for the other Rx she gets so we have a buffer.

I am going to UMDF on the hill this summer and didn’t know what or how I was going to talk to our congress person about health care, insurance and prescriptions and present and defend something that is obtainable but I believe this is it.  This is one step to helping Mito Families.

To get Over the Counter Vitamins and Supplements to count towards In Network Out of Pocket Maximums!

The company I buy Daphne’s Ubiquinol (CoQ10) from is fighting the Mito Cocktail be covered by Insurance so I am sure this will be a start and have some backing.

The ultimate message here is:

Don’t give up or give in, talk to people, talk to doctors, talk to your pharmacist, talk to the insurance company to learn as much as you can.

Be polite and nice, it’s never the person on the other end that made health care the way that it is, it is however their job to ADVOCATE the best that they can for you.

My dad always said “You will attract more bees with honey”

I am not a person that is easily defeated, I do not take NO for an answer.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat.

There is only one person that will be the best Advocate for your child and that is YOU!

xoxo desiree