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Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: Health Care

Health Care for Me

Home Anton Saleh


Before health care reform, I was unable to afford my prescription medications because my cancer medications were not on my insurer's approved drug list. The drugs I must take to treat my cancer cost $40+ per capsule and I presently take 4 per day, though this may soon increase to 6. At present, the cost of my medication is nearly $5,000 per month, which was $60,000 per year. Despite knowing that this medication is necessary to save my life, HealthNet has repeatedly declined further support. We even tried to get the manufacturer of the drug to place me in a program that would have reduced the cost of my prescription, but they politely declined citing my age as the reason. My parents, of course, did whatever they could to find the funds to pay for my treatments. ln fact, my father sold our family home, which he had lived in for 50 years, to make certain we had the money for my medicine. We also found we could order the same medication from an overseas supplier in the UK for roughly half the cost. lt took my father months to comb through the various questionable online offerings and vet their reliability but it did pay off with a lower cost provider.

Health care reform is important to me because in April of 2011, thanks to a change in the law brought upon by the Obama administratlon, we were able change insurers. We now have insurance that covers much more of my prescription costs. I will also be able to remain on my parents' health insurance up to age 25.