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What Access and Affordability Means for Chronic Disease Patients

Allyson Funk   |     March 12, 2015   |   SHARE THIS

Eric-has-a-chronic-conditionFor the nearly one in two American adults living with at least one chronic illness, affordability and access to medicine is crucial.

Unfortunately, if you have a chronic condition, there may be unexpectedly high upfront costs to access needed medicines, especially for people with health insurance exchange coverage. These out-of-pocket costs may mean financial hardship for patients, choosing between food and medicines or foregoing a needed medicine altogether.

When choosing a health care plan for you or your family, it’s important to look beyond the premium and understand what copays, deductibles and coinsurance may mean for you. 

Today, we are starting a short series where we share what these costs mean for people, explaining  how costs for patients with different chronic conditions can quickly spiral out of control. Our first story is about Eric, a hypothetical health insurance exchange patient developed with the help of Avalere Health. New data out from the Kaiser Family Foundation this week suggest more than 40 percent of Americans with private insurance do not have enough savings to cover the costs Eric would face in the first two months of the year.

Eric is a 57-year-old man living in Colorado with chronic myeloid leukemia. He is facing high out-of-pocket costs in his silver health insurance exchange plan. Watch his story and share your own access stories below. Also visit the Access Better Coverage website for information that helps you better understand health insurance so you have the information you need to choose the plan that is best for you and your family.

Allyson Funk

Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience included leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.

Topics: Patients, chronic disease, Access Better Coverage, Leukemia

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