My name is Jacquie and I am a full-time graphic designer and marketing manager currently living and working in Waterloo, Iowa. In 2011, the same week as my college graduation, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. The stress of the cost of my treatment has impacted my life in ways that I could never imagine.
I am on multiple medications to treat my disease, including Stelara, which begins with an IV infusion that can cost up to $11,000 without insurance. From there, I have to self administer a shot every 4 weeks. These shots are $22,800 per dose before insurance.
Since my diagnosis, I have been fortunate enough to have good insurance, making all of the medications that I need within reach. Even with my exceptional coverage, not a day goes by that I do not stress about the what ifs. What if I lose my job? What If my employer changes our insurance plan and my treatment is no longer affordable or covered? What if I am sick enough that I need extended time off from work? To make matters worse, stress is my number one trigger when it comes to my Crohn’s disease flare ups –– so living with these what ifs can just make me sicker.
There is absolutely no way that I could afford a medication that costs more than $22,000 per dose. Having a chronic illness is stressful enough. No one, insured or not, should have to worry about whether they can afford to stay alive.