Wants to Know
Mother with brain cancer can't get lifesaving drug
Insurance changes coverage for drug this year
LEE COUNTY - A Lee County mother diagnosed with terminal brain cancer is fighting for her life after she says her health insurance refuses to pay for her chemotherapy. She says on the first of this year her insurance suddenly stopped paying for her life saving drugs and she doesn't know why. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason looking for answers tonight.
33-year old Dawn Beagles remembers the day she was told she had terminal brain cancer in 2003.
Dawn Beagles: "Told to report to the hospital."
Mike Mason: "What did they tell you?"
Dawn Beagles: "They told me I was going to stay."
After a year of surgery and chemotherapy dawn was told the cancer was gone. But last September it came back.
Dawn Beagles: "Then of course I panicked and freaked out."
Dawn had another surgery last October and specialists told her she would have to take a regimen of drugs each month, 13 medications each day. But the one that can save her life is a chemo drug called Temador, without it she could die. Luckily Dawn has insurance with Medicare and United Healthcare and only had to make a $30 copayment for that medication.....but on January 1st that copayment jumped to $660 per month.
Ron Raines: "Half of her income goes out to pay drug fees and what's left is what she has to live off of.”
Mike Mason: "What's her income how much is it?”
Ron Raines: "$1182 at this point."
Now Dawn simply can't afford to buy the one drug keeping her alive. So why did United Healthcare stop paying for Temador?
We searched the internet and found dozens of people in similar situations. They say their insurance companies claim the drug has been reformulated and that's why companies have raised their deductibles....patients who paid as little as $25 now forced to pay more than $800 per month.
But Dawn continues to fight. She has one very good reason to...her 7 year old son, Christopher. She says without her family's support she doesn't know how she'd be able to go on.
Dawn Beagles: "It's hard enough being sick but when you're basically having to fight to get a lifesaving drug, it's all that much more difficult."
We reached out to United Healthcare to find out why they no longer pay for Temodar, especially since they did pay for it last year. We'll keep you posted on what we find out.