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Insurance in the US for an international student 7 months 2 weeks ago #72149

  • Lman
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  • We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.
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Hi.
I have applied to a handful of US universities to continue my graduate studies in computer science. One of the professors in UIUC is looking eager in recruiting me for master's, where I will be a teaching assistant. That's an awesome position. UIUC is within the nation's top 5 universities in CS and is very reputable. Unfortunately, there's a big problem. The University's health insurance plan's Rx list does not cover any class of TPO-RA drugs. That's very ridiculous, I have checked many other less reputable universities, such as Stony Brook or Rochester University and it was included. This is their Rx list:
www.uhcsr.com/media/06ab3d0d-459b-4c93-96c7-50d47fcdec1b

Now it seems the only option is to find a comparable plan that covers Nplate or Promacta and it is accepted in the Urbana-Champaign and is within 50 miles of the campus:
si.illinois.edu/opting-out

This is so unfortunate. Please help if you have any idea about such insurances that will cover an international student. The other option would be that I tell the professor who is going the admit me and let her know about my condition and see if she can help. But I prefer to do this after I have the official offer letter (the i-20 letter) so that at least they will not reject me only for having itp.

Thanks. 

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Insurance in the US for an international student 7 months 2 weeks ago #72154

  • rmunns
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I would call the attorney general’s office for the state the university is in. I am fortunate to live in Minnesota as far medical goes. There are laws here where they cannot exclude treatments randomly.   I would also challenge this through Human Resources/insurance people. The university of Minnesota people here based on hiring status qualified under the faculty insurance plan. Most student level insurance is more limited in coverage. I would not just accept this without a fight. Also, some medications that are not in the formulary, can get approved by a prior authorization. You can request information about how to get a prior authorization that your doctor can complete. I know it is frustrating to fight with insurance, but they expect people to just accept no without challenging them. Hope this is helpful.

Rose
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Insurance in the US for an international student 7 months 5 days ago #72182

  • Lman
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Hi Rose.
Thanks for your very instructive comment!
I called UIUC's insurance office again and explained the condition again. She told me some injectable drugs may not be on the list, but are still covered. She talked about Jcode/CPT code that drugs have (this is more of insurance thing I guess). So I found out Nplate's Jcode is J2796. It turned out it is covered. That was a relief!

I also officially got admitted into SUNY-Stony Brook as a full time teaching assistant and a huge 3-year fellowship. I found out all three nplate/promacta/avatrombopag is covered there too, so it is very fine! But honestly I'm waiting for UIUC's response cuz it's more prestigious. 

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Insurance in the US for an international student 7 months 4 days ago #72183

  • mrsb04
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  • ITP since 2014. Retired nurse. My belief is empower patients to be involved as much as possible in their care. Read, read, read & ALWAYS question medics about the evidence base they use.
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Lman
Good news that your meds are covered.  Hope  all goes well when you get there.
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Insurance in the US for an international student 6 months 2 weeks ago #72231

  • ImPatient
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So great you're covered! Remember that's one of the reasons I'm not going back for a while, it's so difficult. But you made it! 
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Insurance in the US for an international student 6 months 8 hours ago #72272

  • Lman
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  • We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.
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Thanks. Still got a lot more to go.
The whole journey is not going to be easy but I'll do my best to reach it!

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