As I mentioned in a previous post, my workplace has made quite a few changes. Sometimes change can be a good thing but other times, it can be really scary. I learned of a new change last week.

The firm held a meeting where it was imperative that everyone attend. It turned out to be a meeting about a change in our health insurance. This change has proven to be a VERY scary one for me. For one, although I pay a premium every month for my current insurance, it has been completely worth it. Right now, I have a PPO Plan. I'm able to see whatever physician I like and go when I need to, without having to get any referrals. I pay a very reasonable co-pay for every physician I see and every test and procedure I have. My medication co-pays are quite reasonable as well. In my heart of hearts, I don't think I could have gotten better like I have without a plan like this. What more can a chronically sick person ask for?

Well now, at the meeting, we were given an option between three different healthcare plans: 1) HMO Base Plan, 2) HMO with a Heath Savings Account and 3) PPO with a Health Savings Account. I have never dealt with a Health Savings Account before but it seems like a really good thing from the information I was given. Upon everything I've read and researched about each plan, I would love to try one with a Health Savings Account, as they offer great coverage and my company makes a contribution (so very grateful for that). However, those plans require me to pay a premium and pay a high deductible before the insurance kicks in and any of my medications are covered.  Two of my numerous medications cost an average of $150 a month each to fill. Also, when checking the prices of all my doctors appointments and procedures within the last 90 days, I found that I would have met that deductible. Great right? Yes of course, IF only I was wealthy enough to cover that deductible out of pocket in that short amount of time EVERY year.  Unfortunately for me, I am not in a position where I can afford this. So, needless to say, I plan on choosing  the HMO Base Plan. With this plan, I would always be able to get my prescriptions on a co-pay basis.  I would still have to meet a deductible, however, that deductible amount isn't as high as the ones with a Health Savings Account.

Though I'm extremely grateful that I have insurance period, I'm quite weary about how this new one is going to work for a chronically ill person such as myself. How is this new plan going to affect the quality of care I am receiving now?  On a positive note though, at least I have insurance. Plus, I am able to keep my primary care physician and most of my specialists who have been with me since Day 1. The unknown is such a scary thing...

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So it's been two weeks since my last post. I should be on 13mg this week but instead I'm just starting 14mg today. After weaning down to 15 mg, my body felt so hit and I was extremely exhausted, I decided to stay on 15mg for 2 weeks instead of one. I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not but I had an appointment with another specialist, my pulmonologist, whom I've been seeing since I was first diagnosed with Lupus. (He was the one who performed my thoracenthesis.) When I told him the plan of weaning off of Prednisone 1mg a week, his reaction was the same as mine. He was very hesitant. After treating me for the last 7 years, he thought that was a little too fast. He's seen what happens to me when I wean off too fast. He suggested weaning off 1mg every 2 weeks. To be fair, I told him I would do that if I didn't feel well when I decreased my dosage. I took his advice when I hit 15mg and I'm so glad I did. I'm not sure why but the first week of 15mg was rough. As I mentioned before, I was extremely exhausted. I also couldn't think straight like I was in a fog all day. Again, my joints were sore. I made it through though.

I fully intend on telling my Nephrologist about what I have been doing when I see him in a few days.

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