MS and Insurance issues

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MS and Insurance issues

Postby DriverinLA » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:44 pm

Hello Everyone,

I have been a silent follower of MS News for about 2 years now. However this is my first time reaching the community.

My fiance was diagnosed with MS 2 years ago. I am not exactly clear which type her MS is (neither her or her doctors know for sure). She lives in Germany and as you may know, German government covers her medical expenses. She is taking shots (I believe every other day), which are called interferon. She told me the cost of them is about $1000-$1500 per month.

I am living in Los Angeles, and we are preparing her move to LA from Germany. However I do not know what is the status of the insurance regarding MS, here in US. I would greatly appreciate any insurance related experiences that you have. As you would imagine, we would like to have a clear picture of our possible life here, regarding the expenses of her medical condition.

Thank you very much,
John
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Postby cheerleader » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:20 pm

Hey Driver...
Not to sound like a mom, but are you planning on marrying your lovely fraulein anytime soon?

Is so, it might be very important to understand how your insurance works regarding spousal coverage. Make inquiries now, anonymously.

Is your fiance planning on working in the states? Does she want to have duel citizenship? Her MS is a known condition now, and will factor into her application for insurance in the states.

It's wise that you are looking into all of this before she relocates. Leaving a wonderful socialized society for the wild west of the states will be a large change, but love can conquer all!
best-
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby DriverinLA » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:32 pm

That is the part we are pretty confused about (not the marriage :). She has an executive level position in auto industry in Germany, and would like to continue to work on a similar position here.

Based on your response, does it make a difference (insurance wise) to have a known MS condition versus a newly discovered one?

Also, I would be starting my own practice in the coming months, which will allow me to search for insurance companies. In general do you have any recommendations for California?

Thanks,
John
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Postby cheerleader » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:11 am

Hi John-
I have Blue Cross thru Screen Actors Guild and my husband has Motion Picture Health- both from our employment. My insurance picks up whatever his fails to supply, and the prescriptions division of Blue Cross (Medco) has his Copaxone delivered to the house Fed Ex every three months for $75.

He's had a bunch of expenses over the last year (MRIs, lumbar punctures, blood draws) and it's all been covered.

An MS diagnosis is still MS, no matter how old it is, it is still a "pre-existing condition" when she applies for US insurance, and will add a new layer to searching for health care. If your fiancee has work lined up before she leaves, that would be ideal.

Look into insurance policies for your own practice, and check out spousal coverage. I like Blue Cross of California, been good to my family.

best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby carolsue » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:05 pm

I am lucky. My employer's health insurance plan (Blue Cross) offers full spousal coverage and as long as I am their employee, there is no such thing as a pre-existing condition for either me or my spouse.

So if your fiance gets a job here with good benefits, or if you are employed with good benefits, she may have nothing to worry about (other than the usual MS worries, of course!).

best of luck!
carolsue
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Postby g123 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:31 am

yes, i think the key is to get group insurance through a company that one of you works for.

unfortunately in many states if she, or even you and she together, were to apply for private health insurance it would be very expensive, or impossible to get at all, or would not cover her MS as it was a "pre existing condition". the laws are different state by state, so you should really look into the situation in your state.
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Postby DriverinLA » Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:21 am

Thanks a lot for all your posts. We really appreciate it.

It looks like group policy through a company is the way to go.


John
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Postby ShootingStar » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:19 pm

I hope you make great money because insurance is costly (not for you as a single, but when you add a wife 8O ) and even the co-pays will do you in. Even with insurance, people have lost homes. I am poor so I got Medicaid, otherwise I couldn't even consider Rebif and I wouldn't even have the diagnosis because I couldn't afford the co-pays and such with the employer insurance I had. $600 up front for an MRI and I had 4 of them, there was no way. The insurance system here in the US SUCKS.

Why don't YOU move to Germany instead :wink:
~Kim in NV
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