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Epilepsy & Affordable Health Coverage

“Hey Dad, Wal Greens just sent a text reminding me it's time for a refill but I’m not out yet.”

“I told you before to refill your prescription before the year ends…it's like $600-700 to pay for your medication.”

“What? I thought it was covered by our insurance.”

“We’ve had this conversation before. We have to pay a deductible at the beginning of the year. You know that you have a monthly prescription, you should’ve handled that.”

People living with epilepsy utilize a variety of different health insurance coverage options to receive care and access to treatment. Some may receive coverage through their employer, and others use Medicare or Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. This law reduces the cost of health insurance coverage and lower expenses for lower-income individuals and families.

Epidemiologists and other community-based studies have identified substantial disparities in health care among adults with epilepsy. Social determinants of health including socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, age and gender can greatly impact access to epilepsy care. The lack of access to coverage can be of detriment to the individual with epilepsy. Mismanagement of epilepsy and the inability to access prescription may cause recurrent seizures. This can lead to loss of gainful employment or inability to work, reduced income, reduced opportunities in education, decreased social participation, limitations in mobility with loss of driving privileges, other decrements of quality of life, and an increased risk of injury, disability, and death. All of which perpetuates the need for accessible and affordable health coverage.

And that was my reality check! At 26, I’ll no longer be covered by my dad’s insurance plan. Here comes the anxiety of adulthood. What does my employee insurance consist of? Will they cover my expensive anti-seizure medication and my special visits?

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