A friend of mine who has been getting their prescription insulin for free from the manufacturer was just notified this past week that they will no longer receive their medications from the company. The reason given? The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In a nutshell, this person's income is below the poverty level and he can not afford private insurance (or Obamacare). His state (California) has a medicare program called Medi-Cal, but he was never "poor enough" to qualify for it.
According to the letter he received, the company (Novo-Nordisk) has determined that he is now eligible for Mei-Cal, due to the income requirements being relaxed because of additional federal funding. While this may seem like good news, going on Medi-Cal has a number of drawbacks. Among them, no Doctors in this part of the state accept new Medi-Cal (or Obamacare, for that matter) patients. He will no longer be able to see his own Doctor. He must give the state full access to his bank account. He will no longer be able to get some of his current medications, because they are not "approved" by Medi-Cal. All diabetes patients in California are allotted a maximum of one test strip per day for their blood glucose monitors. All in all, he is in a pretty rough spot. Has anyone else had this experience recently? Are patient assistance programs actively trying to get rid of those with low incomes who qualify for free medication? Thanks.
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