Hello - Navigating the medical system can be a challenging task, and there aren’t any easy answers, but here are some suggestions. It is *very* important that you become your own advocate and be extremely aggressive in seeking medical care to help get you stabilized again on the replacement hormone.(Note on links: if you click directly on any of the following links, you will need to use your browser's “back” button to return to the boards after viewing, or you will have to log back in to the forum. As an alternative, you can right-click the link and open it in a new tab or new window).
Contacting your state and county health and economic security departments can sometimes be a good starting point. Even if you are not Medicaid eligible, these offices can sometimes suggest other resources. Local hospitals, universities, or medical schools can also be good options.
There are a number of clinics in the U.S. that provide care on a free or sliding scale basis. The U.S. government’s Health Resources and Services Administration web site allows you to do a search by zip code. Although they don’t always offer specialist care, they can at least connect you with a physician that can order labs and prescribe medications. You can find them on the web at: http://www.hrsa.gov/index.html
Also, there is a non-profit organization called the Patient Advocate Foundation that helps individuals who are uninsured and underinsured seek access to medical care. You can find them on the web at: http://www.patientadvocate.org/
You might also consider contacting individual endocrinologists to see if they have suggestions for assistance. Referral sites for endocrinologists are available at www.aace.com
. On the AACE site, be sure and select the specialty “thyroid dysfunction.” We have also just launched a physician registry of doctors who have told us they have particular expertise in Graves’. To access the registry, go to the home page at www.gdatf.org
and click on “physician registry” in the box on the top right-hand side of the screen. (You have to be logged in to view the registry). Because we are just getting started, we might not yet have a lot of listings in your part of the country.
Many brand-name drug companies offer prescription assistance for patients who can demonstrate financial need. A doctor should be able to get you started with the paperwork. Another option is that some drug companies provide direct discounts to patients who do not have insurance.
Take care – and please check back and let us know how you are doing!