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Topic: I might have to stop anti hormone therapy due to the cost.

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Feb 6, 2021 11:47AM

WC3 wrote:

Treatment aside, I'm going to exceed my budget this month. I have relatively cheap rent and don't have car associated expenses but over the past 20 years my health insurance premium has shot up from about $180 per month to $925 per month come this April. Given the cancer, I can't claim that is unreasonable now but the fact of the matter is my income has not increased to match the rise in medical and living expenses...in fact it has dropped, and I am already pretty frugal.

I've had some additional medical expenses come up this year which I owe a few thousand for and recently had to switch anti hormone therapies, the new one which I just realized is about $400 per month out of pocket so about $4800 per year. That is a big chunk of money to have to come by every month being so limited in my employment options, particularly with a compromised immune system and my other health issues during a pandemic.

The irony is, I've never been able to write off medical expenses on my taxes because I've never been able to pay them in the same tax year.

I've tried most of my life to get in a position where I am financially independent and able to meet all of my expenses with room to spare. I've made responsible decisions but then something big comes along and knocks me down.

Anyway I will manage this month but the numbers don't work out long term and I will have to work something out. The easiest option would be to just stop treatment. I had a pCR to chemotherapy so maybe it would not be a horribly big risk but will still give me panic attacks in the middle of the night.



Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Feb 6, 2021 02:20PM SpecialK wrote:

WC3 - can you take Arimidex? You can get Arimidex direct mail from Eagle Pharmacy without using insurance. Here is the link - I believe it is $60 a month, and this is for brand name, not a generic.

https://www.eaglepharmacy.com/drug/arimidex

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Feb 6, 2021 02:25PM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi WC3,

So sorry you are finding yourself financially stressed. Insurance.... grrrrr. And cancer..... grrrrr. Have you checked GoodRx? Sometimes I found I could get meds using GoodRx for less than the price I would pay with insurance. Worth a check if you have not already done so. Also, are you looking at a brand name drug where a generic is available and would work for you? Have you called your Rx insurance and walked through alternatives with them?

I hope you find a solution that works!

ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy
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Feb 7, 2021 07:32AM WC3 wrote:

SpecialK, SimoneRC:

Because I was premenopausal when I was diagnosed and have only recently entered my 40s, I am on Zoladex and Armidex (anastrazole). It's the Zoladex that is the issue. The $400 is technically a good deal because it's half the cost it would be without insurance and includes (I think) the cost of the nurses injecting it. I learned today that the manufacturer offers an assistance program so I will look in to that more Monday.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Feb 7, 2021 08:17AM MelissaDallas wrote:

WC3, get the social worker at your facility involved if you can’t work it out yourself. They are usually very good at this type of thing. I had a SW who truly worked miracles for me and I will eternally be grateful to her and the doctors who helped her

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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Feb 7, 2021 10:10PM navy1305 wrote:

Hi,

If you're in the United States, President Biden signed an executive order to have a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), and it will be open for new enrollments from February 15 to May 15 according to this NPR article: https://www.npr.org/sections/president-biden-takes...

Here is the link to the executive order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/president...

You can qualify to sign up for Obamacare plans through www.healthcare.gov/ during the special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event, otherwise you need to wait for open enrollment. This might be a little bit ridiculous, but if you live in an area where rents are relatively inexpensive and it would not be hard to find a new place to move to, a way to have a qualifying life event is to move to a different ZIP code or county. This could be like a last resort option for you if you don't have any other qualifying life events and the Obamacare rates are really a lot better than the $925/month you are paying. I cannot give you any firsthand knowledge on Obamacare plans because I have 3 simultaneous forms of healthcare coverage so I do not need to sign up for Obamacare at this time. Also, if you are nearing age 65 (I think within 3 months of your birthday), you can sign up for Medicare if you haven't done that already.

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Feb 8, 2021 01:16AM WC3 wrote:

navy1305:

I was unable to consistently qualify last time I looked in but I will definately look in to it again.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)

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