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Jim's Journal   (Return to journal entry listing)
Posting Date: Friday, May 23, 2008
Subject: We Won!

The nightmare with my insurance coverage for Avastin is over.

But the 24 hour rollercoaster leading up to this moment was intense. Yesterday I learned that Medica, my insurer, had sent a letter denying coverage. This would amount to more than $200,000 for the first year's supply. These are potentially bankrupting numbers.

My Congressman Jim Ramstad went into high gear and helped us represent all the evidence and articles and stress the relevance of a Minnesota statute regarding coverage of off-label uses. Did you know that approximately half of all chemotherapy drugs prescribed are done off-label? They are changing their policy retroactive to October 2007 "when the first articles about its efficacy in high grade gliomas appeared" (and coincidentally was the month my treatment began).

We fed them a lot of info over the past 24 hours, including the three interviews I just did (links below). Something worked.

WebMD:

Link: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/brain-cancer/features/the-faces-of-brain-cancer

NPR Talk of the Nation:

Link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90728977

MPR:

Link: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/05/21/midmorning2/

Well it is over. I still have not heard from Medica but when my Congressman tells me it is over I believe him.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Jim