When I was diagnosed with relapsing MS, I was 23 years old and had a job I loved. I am a very positive person, very cheery and always thinking the best. So getting diagnosed with MS was a blow, but I worked through it and thought, "Okay, good is going to come from this."
My doctor and I talked about relapsing MS treatment options and thought Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) would be best for me. I had no concerns about getting on therapyI had insurance. But when I learned my co-pay would be $572, I lost it. Here I was trying to be so positive after my diagnosis and ready to take this medication that could help me, and I learned I can't afford it.
I wasn't sure where to turn, so I called MS LifeLines®. I felt bad for the MS LifeLines Financial Support representative because I was crying so much. He told me not to worry, that he would help me. He asked me some questions and told me I qualified for an assistance program called MS LifeLines Access Made Simple. MS LifeLines Access Made Simple made it possible for me to get affordable access to Rebif.
After some months went by, I started thinking about what would happen when I reached the end of the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program. I had a job, but I also had a lot of bills and simply could not afford the high co-pay that my insurance would require for me to stay on Rebif. So I called MS LifeLines.
I was concerned that perhaps my income would prevent me from getting further assistance, but when I spoke to the specialist, she told me my income fit within the requirements and did not disqualify me.
The process only took a couple weeks, and I didn't even notice when I transitioned from MS LifeLines Access Made Simple into a different MS LifeLines assistance planit was seamless. I continue to pay an affordable co-pay to receive Rebif.
I would say the financial assistance program really alleviated my stress of affording therapy. After my experience with MS LifeLines Access Made Simple, I felt so blessed that I could focus on my health without having to worry about the financial impact. Having transitioned to the different assistance program continues to make it easier for me to move forward and live my life without the worry of affording treatment for my MS.
If I had advice for anyone in a similar situation, I would say call MS LifeLines and ask questions. I didn't know about these programs when I first considered therapy and, thankfully, I found help. So ask those questions if you are concerned because there is always someone on the other end of MS LifeLines that is willing to help you.
This story reflects the personal experience of one person. Results and experiences vary from patient to patient. It is best to contact your doctor to discuss what's best for you. Vickie is an MS LifeLines Ambassador, and she has chosen to share her story with other people living with MS. MS LifeLines Ambassadors are sponsored by EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc.
MS LifeLines is here to help
The MS LifeLines Financial Support Team members are passionate about helping you find financial support for Rebif. They are trained to understand the various insurance and assistance plans to make the process as easy as possible. MS LifeLines cannot guarantee that you will receive insurance coverage or reimbursement for your therapy but will conduct a thorough review of your individual situation to determine available assistance programs or refer you to an appropriate state or federal program.
To find out if you qualify for MS LifeLines Access Made Simple or other MS LifeLines assistance programs, call MS LifeLines at 1-877-447-3243 Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM ET and Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM ET.