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Since You Asked: Question & Answer (January 2018)

January 30, 2018

These Questions & Answers originally appeared in the IDF monthly e-newsletter, Primary Immune Tribune. Click here to subscribe.

Question 1: Spinal Fusion 
Question 2: Medicare Advantage Plan

Question: I need to have a spinal fusion, which involves a bone graft. What is the best choice for a patient with CVID currently on Ig therapy? Are there more problems with donor bone vs a bone graft from my own hip?

Answer: The donor bone graft should be sterile so this does not present a problem. If you choose to use your own bone graft, you need to discuss the possibility of creating a wound that could possibly become infected with your immunologist before you make any final decisions. We hope your surgery goes well.

Question: I turned 65 on January 2. I was informed by my employer that my disability and health benefits would end on January 31. I have to file for my pension, which does not include health insurance. The plan I have with the employer is secondary to Medicare. Now I will have a Medicare Advantage plan effective February 1. 

The real dilemma is that I just paid my annual deductible with the employer plan. The Medicare Advantage plan also has an annual deductible. Do insurance companies ever work together or compromise on the deductible (since I am only with the employer plan for 1 month)?

Answer: The timing is unfortunate as you will be responsible for two deductibles. The insurance carriers do not work together on this, and it is extremely unlikely that your current plan would be willing to forgo your annual deductible even though you are only carrying the plan for one month. 

You can inquire with your infusion center about applying for any hardship program they may have, or work out a payment arrangement. Best of luck to you!

These answers should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. In all cases, patients and caregivers should consult their healthcare providers. Each patient’s condition and treatment are unique.


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