“I’ve had migraines my whole life, and ever since I was old enough to deal with the insurance companies I’ve been fighting my need for particular things.”
In 2009, Melissa applied to four health-insurance companies before finding one that would cover her migraines and not cost $1,500 a month. Later she found a job that covered her health insurance, but then she was laid off. While collecting unemployment and trying to rebuild her freelance photography business, Melissa has depleted her severance package to pay for her current Aetna Cobra policy, which costs $500 a month and expires at the end of the month. Melissa has also had difficulty getting insurance companies to pay for the medication that works for her. Typically she’s restricted to a certain amount of a certain brand. To get around this, Melissa has had to spend a few thousand dollars out of pocket over the past two years to receive the medication that works. Recently Melissa tried different medications before being approved for a Botox treatment for chronic migraines, which has significantly helped her and decreased her migraines to an average of six per month.
Melissa is currently looking into options from Healthy NY and the recently enacted health-care law and hopes she can attain affordable health insurance for the long-term.
A photo taken of me as a child with Aunt Grace (both of us are far left), my sister and two grandmothers. The grandmother in the middle raised me and my sister, she passed away three years ago after many years of suffering with Alzheimer’s.