MS patient says billing mix-up prevents her from getting medication

N.Y. bill extends medical malpractice deadline
Posted at 7:19 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-21 18:31:02-05

“They're all just shifting me around and nobody's getting anywhere,” says Tommy Whitehurst tells us as she sits at her kitchen table.

Tommy used to enjoy riding motorcycles and hanging out with friends and family.

She worked full time in construction, welding, and other physically demanding jobs.

She did all of these things until a few years ago when everything came to a screeching halt.

"Life changes real quick in the blink of an eye. You don't realize how important things are. How grateful you need to be. I'm sorry." says Tommy, wiping tears.

Tommy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 2014 and in 2017 her condition got worse.

"I didn't know I'd have to retire early, I didn't know that I'd have to park my motorcycle and never ride it again. You know? " she tells us.

MS impacts everything from mobility to memory.

Tommy takes medication to slow the progression of the disease but hasn't since January because she believes there's been a mix up over her prescription billing.

She has Medicaid, Medicare and a supplemental plan to cover her bills.

She tells us every year her coverage changes providers which is what happened back in January.

Her medication has always been on automatic renewal and her co-pay typically just a few dollars.

"It's one thing to get a bill for 35 dollars or whatever you can pay those small doctors bills but when you open a bill and you go 4,000 dollars?!" says Tommy.

Her problem-- the old insurance company and the new one both say it's the other's responsibility to pay that big bill.

"Do you know how many paychecks that would be for me?!" Tommy says.

Tommy is on disability and lives on $855 a month.

She's contacted her previous provider, current provider and the pharmacy but can't get a straight answer on how to get the bill resolved so she can get her medication.

She's been going around in circles for months and that's why she called 2 works for You.

"Sometimes I get confused trying to talk on the phone to them and it's hard to just get it right. " says Tommy.

As she's working to fix the billing issue we were able to help her apply for her medication another way.

She got on the phone with her doctor and was told that she will now be able to get her medication another way.

However, that big bill is still looming.

If you find yourself in a similar situation here are some tips:

-Tulsa county has a pharmacy through social services that can sometimes provide medications to low-income Tulsa county residents.

Click here for Link

-You can also go directly to the maker of the medication to see if they have a low or reduced cost program.

-Ask your doctor how to get your medication another way.

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