I did not know when I headed down the holistic path there would be so many tests. But it seems every new diet I try or symptom I bring up; there is a test for that. These tests don’t carry the $3000 sticker price that more conventional MS therapies do, but a $100 out of pocket here and there adds up, especially when you are not working. So what is a person with MS to do?
Advocate for yourself! Something so simple that I had not thought of in all of my previous interactions with insurance. I was so used to just answering the questions they had, providing the bare minimum. This time when I was checking to see if the Intestinal Permeability and NutraEval tests were covered, I asked, “Does coverage depend on what the tests are for? I have multiple sclerosis and the conventional therapies have not worked for me and were making my symptoms worse. So now I am working with doctors to try and figure out if there is something else going on.” It took them three weeks to deliberate, and two follow-up phone calls from me, but the same woman I spoke to originally called me back. She said many people had input on it, with emails floating back and forth between insurance and nurses, but that the tests would be covered in full. In full! This has never happened to me.
My inspiration to advocate in a polite but persistent way came from the book “How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for The Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers” by Toni Bernhard. Amazing book. This is only one tidbit of insight I have gotten from it so far. If you have allowed your illness to limit the treatment you have sought, feel inspired to get the health access you deserve.
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Important Safety Information
Before beginning treatment, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif with your healthcare provider.
Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking Rebif.
Rebif will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
Do not take Rebif if you are allergic to interferon beta, human albumin, or any of the ingredients in Rebif.
Before you take Rebif, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any of the following conditions:
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
The most common side effects of Rebif include:
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Rebif. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Rebif is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.