Cigna Insurance is holding the life of my little brother Seth in its hands. Seth needs a very specific medication in order to live and grow into a healthy young man but Cigna refuses to cover that medication. Instead they’ll only cover a different medication, which Seth’s doctor says could kill him.
My brother Seth is 13 years old. He’s a kind, smart, tender-hearted boy who love sports and loves being outside. He is also extremely sick. Seth has Type 1 Diabetes and Insulin Growth Factor Type 1, which acting together are inhibiting his growth and preventing him from leading a normal, active life.
However, there’s a FDA-approved medication called Increlex that’s already proven to be a miracle. Dr. Casas, Seth’s endocrinologist who works with many kids just like Seth, prescribed Increlex for Seth, and Seth took it for 4 months. Increlex is a very specific medication for people in Seth’s position who have both Type 1 Diabetes and IGHD. In those 4 months, Seth got taller, he gained weight, he developed, his grades rose and he started once more to lead a normal life. It was truly a miracle.
However, Cigna will not cover Increlex- which costs $20,000 per month- because they say Seth is “too healthy.” Seth is “too healthy” because the Increlex Dr. Casas prescribed him was working. They will only cover a different growth hormone medication which- because he has Type 1 Diabetes- could end up killing him. Essentially, Seth has to get sicker and risk the underdevelopment of his body and internal organs until Cigna agrees to cover his medication.
My family cannot afford to buy Increlex over the counter or to purchase any other insurance. My father was laid off due to the recession last year and, Seth’s pre-existing condition makes private insurance purchasing impossible. So we are asking Cigna to cover Seth’s Increlex until March 2013 to keep Seth alive and healthy while my family looks for other insurance options.
I know my family isn’t the only family fighting an insurance company. All across America, insurance companies are denying patients necessary medications and treatments or trying to give them the wrong medicines in order to save money. Insurance companies like Cigna are making medical decisions for sick kids like my little brother -- decisions that should be made by doctors. This must stop.
Please join me and my family in calling on Cigna Insurance to not punish my brother for not being “sick enough” and trying to give a potentially deadly medication. He needs the Increlex, now.