Main Forums > Living With HIV

How we gonna pay?

(1/3) > >>

Firstly, thank all of you for your kind words on my first post.  I am feeling way better at this point in time and it is largely due to your kind words and encouragement.
Now, to the business at hand.  I am in the initial process of planning a move the NYC from Minnesota in summer 2007.  Before my diagnosis I was scared because my career is in the arts/journalism and I knew that it was going to be a huge event moving there and  struggle for the next X years while I got myself established.
Then the bombshell that I have HIV and may need to start treatment in the next year or so.
Before the news, I was planning on drifting a little bit.  It was not a priority for me, say, to have a job or make sure my insurance was taken care of.  When I graduated from school I had no insurance for 2 1/2 years, which was one of the reasons why I didn't get tested when I exhibited symptoms of what I now know was acute HIV infection.  Now with the extra burden of the disease, being able to get adequate medical care has become my main issue.
From my research, HIV medications are EXPENSIVE.  So I just wanted to get a sense about what other people have done to deal with the cost (both those with insurance and those with out)?  Do most people's insurance cover the cost of the drugs?  And for those without insurance, how have you been able to afford them?  AND if there is any living/or has lived in New York City with this disease, how is it?


This website talks about the various state funded insurance options for the state of NYC.  If you move to NYC and you don't have health insurance, you will need to apply for the state's ADAP program in order to obtain HIV treatment (and access to meds, paid for by the government). 

I don't know how much you make, but you may qualify for Medicaid (but your income needs to be pretty low if you're working and single). 

You need to think about health insurance, cause the days of not worrying about it are long gone.  You now have a disease that will require expensive medical treatment.  While you should not make decisions about employement and moving, solely based on insurance (and access to health care) but those issues should be very high on your list. 

While ADAP, the most likely way for you get access to HIV treatment and meds, will cover your HIV (and HIV related) treatment, it is not comprehensive don't only rely on ADAP and think you are okay.  For example, you could break your leg and the cost of that treatment is not covered by ADAP.

Cliff beat me to it. When you get to NYC, go to the Health Department and get assigned to a case manager for your case. Tell them that you are interested in Ryan White and being enrolled into ADAP.

ADAP covers your HIV medication costs. Ryan White covers your medical, dental and your vision.

Meanwhile, I would suggest you make an appointment with your doctor first to start treatment for your HIV. You can start at your county's health department.

If you have insurance it will pay for certain meds but that depends on your provider. And there is a possible co-pay involved.

To be honest, that is my biggest fear of all: having to rely on a government program to keep me alive.  Out of the many thoughts that filled my head within the 24 hours after my diagnosis, that is the one that keeps coming up.  I am just starting my career and, while before this thing came up, my business plan included a few years of necessary "dangerous" living (Ramon noodles, no healthcare, limited spending) that define a career in its infant stages, now I feel like I have to go for a job that is completely "safe," because I need healthcare coverage.
With this ADAP aren't there thousands of people on the waiting list for drug treatment?  And isn't the program up for yearly review?  And isn't New York experiencing a budget cut for its AIDS assistance?
My health is not completely my own anymore.  Access to things that can save/lengthen my life are now in the hands of bureaucrats and drug companies.  Sigh.   :(

Everyone's health is in the hands of someone else, whether it's a government, a private health insurance company, an employer, etc.. we are all dependent on the decision-making process of others.

But I do understand your dilemma.  Though, there's no rush to make any decisions.  Your numbers were okay, so it's unlikely you will need to be on medication ASAP.  So you will have time to decide what to do.  BUT until you do decide, you should sign up for ADAP in the state you currently reside in (along with your local ASO).

Good luck to you!

- Cliff


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version