Len – Omaha, NE
“During my regular six month general wellness check with my primary physician (September, 2017), the labs that preceded that check-up showed some irregularities. My liver enzymes were sky high. I participate in a patient portal from my doctor’s office so I saw the lab results before I saw him.
Yes, we enjoy our wine with dinner and sometimes a ‘happy hour’ drink, so I immediately thought I had been drinking too much alcohol. When I went to the doctor, I told him I wanted to abstain from alcohol for a period of time and have the labs redone. Five weeks later the liver enzymes were even higher. I had not consumed a drop of alcohol during those five weeks.
My doctor ran some other labs and it showed a diagnosis of Hepatitis C virus. Yes, I’ve seen the commercials and I am clearly a ‘baby boomer’. I was born in 1947. I’m sure a lot of people would say this but I honestly never used intravenous narcotics, I have never received a transfusion or had any transplant surgery. I don’t recall ever being in any blood to blood risky situation. My primary doctor and the GI (Gastro-Intestinal) specialist both told me that is often the case. We just don’t know when or how. But! There it was (I love using the past tense!).
I had an ultrasound and fortunately, through the great work of my doctor, it was early enough that there was no organ damage.
I made an appointment with the GI specialist and the process began.
I was assured that with a new medicine, the cure rate with one pill per day was 96%-99%. The treatment consisted of three months of the one pill per day. It could cause some side effects, but I had none. There are many caveats about consistency issues, etc. and possible other interactions and I followed them faithfully. Twelve weeks later, labs showed no HCV detected. I had to wait another three months to be sure. I was released from treatment because I was cured.
So, where does HealthWell come in? The twelve month treatment cost would have been over $70,000. For a fixed income person and a retired educator, it was absolutely prohibitive. The staff at the specialist’s office intervened with my insurance plan (a Plan D I have with a Medicare supplement), it would have brought the cost down to around $12,000. That was still a very difficult thing for us. Along came HealthWell, working with the pharmacy involved, and a grant from them reduced my personal copay to $0!
I gratefully and sincerely consider the Foundation part of my lifesaving cure. I will be forever grateful to them.”
Len – Omaha, NE