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      How to get your questions answered. A few observations, and requests of all members. All folks who come here are volunteers who do this on their own time and their own dime.To avoid burning out our best contributors please follow these guidelinesf you are reading a post and it reminds you of a question you want to ask, start a new topic, if you place your question in someone thread it will be difficult to distinguish your question from the original poster, you will get better results posting a new topic with your question. 1. Before Posting please do a search and see if your question has already been answered. If you find the answer print it out and put it in a file to use as a reference file, I find this helpful myself. 2. If you can not find the answer and you do post a question, please print out those answers and refer to them to avoid duplicate questions. 3. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions4. Duplicate questions will come up from time to time but the keeping them to the minimum will lighten the load on the regular volunteers.5. Respect folks privacy do not request their personal phone numbers for claims help, it is inappropriate and not why they are here.6. Keep the topics focused on veterans issues, in closing Search first Search ... Ask second.it may save a lot of time or at the very least enlighten you.
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    • A bit about Tbird and HadIt.com for those who've asked...

      The following is on my About page, but some have been asking how this all happened. So here is my little story. Tbird US Navy 1983 – 1990 E-6 HadIt.com the website domain registered Jan 20, 1997 the domain is registered and paid for through Jan 21, 2023 at which time I plan to register it for another 15 years Lord willing and the creek don't rise. I guess the best place to start is Jan 1991; I had gotten out of the navy Dec 1990. At my separation seminar, there was a DAV rep Jim Milton he told us to bring our medical records in and he would look through them for us and let us know if we should file a claim with the VA. Well, bless his heart, he opened my medical file, reads the first insert, looks me straight in the eye, and says you will be 50% for the rest of your life and he would file the claim for me. 50% was for surgery I had in the service. True to his word he met with me and talked with me for a long time filled out my paper work and urged me to file for PTSD. I would not file the PTSD claim, nor even discuss it. By Feb 1991 I had moved to the San Francisco bay area and was staying at a friends apartment and pretty much I was just a puddle. In desperation one night I called suicide hot line, I had no job, no idea about going to the VA. They talked with me for a long time and explained to me that I could go to the local VA hospital even if I did not have insurance. Now, I know what you are thinking if I was 50% why didn't I just go to the VA in the first place, two reasons 1, this was Feb 1991 and the 50% didn't come till May and 2, even if it had come through it is unlikely that I would have had the mental acuity at the time to put the two together. I relate this here because it is where so many of our brothers and sisters are coming from, perhaps where you started. Fuzzy and unsure, in pain and sometimes homeless they come to the VA hospital for help. And that is where I ended up. Up to the pysch ward I went, blah, blah, blah, a few days later I was released with a promise of a call from the out patient program, which I would soon be entering. Blah, blah, blah, after many missed communications, and no call backs I was at the Day Hospital everyday M-F. And this brothers and sisters is where I began to learn and formulate my plan for HadIt.com. Veterans, veterans everywhere…I spent a year in the day hospital and about another year at a sheltered workshop before I got back on my feet. So I just talked to veterans everyday waiting for appointments, waiting for prescriptions, waiting for a vet rep and I started to learn the system. While in the navy I was data analyst and had to learn a 5 volume manual and just about anything you were suppose to do was in that manual. So I figured there must be a manual on how to do a VA claim or at the very least regulations. So I found out about the Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, Veterans Affairs Manuals and so on and so forth. Of course this was 1991/1992 I was living in a tiny studio apartment in a particularly bad neighborhood, working in a sheltered workshop making a nickel per envelope I stuffed throw in PTSD and you will see that it was a difficult task for me to get somewhere where they had copies of these, let alone that they would let me look at. And there was so much knowledge around me, it was like the gold rush in those days, I could just sit on a bench a veteran would sit down next to me a little conversation later I had another nugget, I made copious notes. Phone numbers to call, ask for this guy or that guy he'll give you the straight scoop and they'd slip me a piece of paper with a number on it. You want to read this regulation or that one and another slip of paper into my hand. I spent a lot of time on those benches watching the squirrels they gathered their nuts and I gathered mine :) So I'm thinking I could put a little handbook together print it out and hand it out at the VA. Or perhaps fliers. Still formulating, time goes by, 1994/1995 I am being treated for PTSD regularly and doing and feeling much better and I go to work for a company as a marketing systems analyst and I discover the internet. Well let me tell you that was perhaps one of the most significant life changing events I have ever experienced. And I might add finally a positive one :) It seemed only natural to me that surely there must be a website that contained all the knowledge I wanted, well as it turned out not so much, lots of stuff but I wanted to get straight to the claims information and there was a lot of stuff to wade through to get to it. So taking my lesson from the squirrels earlier I started to gather, gather, gather…and learn HTML and work as a marketing systems analyst and work my claim. 1996/1997 major PTSD cork blows and unemployed. Working my claim, working the website. 20 Jan 1997 register HadIt.com domain name right after getting off the phone with the VA and saying I've had it with this. As fate would have it the old DAV board goes down just as mine opens up and folks start to wander in. So HadIt.com has two main components the website which supports the discussion board with links, articles, research resources etc. The website starts to grow, I can't tell you how many times I had to switch servers for space and features. I continue on a downward trend and in 1998 ended up back home in St Louis living in my sisters basement in therapy and working it, I swear I would have swung a dead chicken around my head at midnight naked if I thought it would have helped. The website continued to do great during this time, I just stayed in the basement bought new software, new books, and learned how to make things work and I continued to use this knowledge to make HadIt.com better. My 100% finally came through from the VA and I had a friend who is an advocate who helped me thru my SSDI claim, he was literally at my side thru the entire process and that came through for me. My therapist and sister continued to try and get me to leave the basement, but to no avail. At some point in 1998 or 1999 I put a counter on the website and was shocked to discover how many visitors we were getting. Time goes by my sister gets married and I move from the basement to the upstairs, there is much celebration that Aunt T is living in the light again. More time goes by and I settle into my life in St Louis and spend more time on the site trying new things, finding more information. 2003 I buy my own home VA loan. For years now I have just considered HadIt.com my job and I get up every morning go to the office and work for several hours, take an afternoon break and see where the rest of day takes me. I have a place in the office to use the computer and a comfortable to place to read journals and articles and take notes. Blah, blah, blah so that is my story and HadIt.com's intertwined.
    • HadIt.com Pass It On Cards

      Hi I've updated our HadIt.com Pass It On Cards. They are in a PDF format you can print them out cut them there are 12 to a page. If you have found HadIt.com helpful and would like to pass it on to other veterans this is an easy way to do it.I hope you find them helpful, feel free to leave a few anywhere veterans gather, veterans centers, veterans hospitals, public libraries, be creative. Please make sure though, that if you want to leave some at any business you ask permission first.Here you go http://www.hadit.com...it_on_cards.pdf
    • VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index

      VA Training and Fast Letter Forum Index The following is the index with links to the various Training and Fast Letters plus a few miscellaneous. These letters are not necessarily in the original formatting. I have tried to present them in an easy-to-read form instead of some forms as originally presented. Some of the paragraphs were WAAAAYYY too long. lol - HadIt.com Member fanaticbooks Something to be aware.... Some of these letters may be rescinded, outdated, or otherwise no longer viable. I have still included them because sometimes they provide additional insight or just plain more information than the newest version. Use them wisely. The oldest letters will display at the bottom with the latest letters displayed at the top, all in sequential numbers. Coding of the letters... FL = Fast Letter TL = Training Letter First two numbers = last two digits of year of origin Training Letter http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40694-va-tl-00-07/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40693-va-tl-00-06/ Fast Letter Number Title http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44262-va-fl-11-15/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44260-va-fl-11-13/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44261-va-fl-11-11/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/44310-va-fl-11-09/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/42151-va-fl-11-03/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40957-va-fl-10-49/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40958-va-fl-10-46/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40959-va-fl-10-45/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40960-va-fl-10-42/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40961-va-fl-10-39/ http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/40962-va-fl-10-35/ 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Enbrel And Humira Prescriptions

7 posts in this topic

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I am currently on Active duty and going through a MED Board. I take Humira shots for my AS. Does the VA cover these? They are taken every two weeks and cost about $700.00 ea. I was wanting to know because when I get out and if the Board doesn't rate me high enough (>3 0%)to keep tricare I would like to get them through the VA.

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Posted · Report post

I am currently on Active duty and going through a MED Board. I take Humira shots for my AS. Does the VA cover these? They are taken every two weeks and cost about $700.00 ea. I was wanting to know because when I get out and if the Board doesn't rate me high enough (>3 0%)to keep tricare I would like to get them through the VA.

I'm not sure if the VA will cover Embril, but I have was diagnosed with AS for over 38 years ago. I have a good if not the best private Rheumatologist and he suggested Embril right after it was approved for AS (Ankylosong Spondylitis-Rheumatoid arthritis mostly involving spine and larger joints.) I was curious as to whether you started soon after the diagnosis, and how it works for you. My Blue Cross did approve the shots or me, but at that time Embril had on their website a chat on discussions of how well it worked....there were many with SERIOUS side effects and many saying it woked great, but stopped working after a short while. I researched the drug and even called the Manufacturer who had an on-duty Registered Nurse. I have had skin cancers and problems with chronic sinus infections and quite a few kidney-urinary tract infections. The Nurse would NOT tell me not to try Embril, but after expalining all my chronice infection problems(whcih the drug manufacturer reccomends NOT taking it if you have chronic infections of any type) well I asked the Nurse if she were me, would she take it and she said NO. Also the fact that I have NO confidence in the FDA approving ANY drug, made my decision to not take it. My Doctor pushed it, I'm SURE he got a good kick-back on prescribing it, but it scared me.

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Posted · Report post

I too was hesitant on taking the Enbrel. I decided to start taking it after I got severe IRITIS twice. My Optamologist recommended it after my Rheumy did. It worked very well for about a year then I was having a lot of painful flareups in my hips, shoulders, etc,........ My Rheumy(Navy Doc) offered to switch me to Humira. I did so a few months ago. I am having less flareups. We shall see how long (hopefully a long time) this works. I am currently going through a MED Board and would like to leave knowing that I can get the medicine cheaper than paying for the whole cost out of my pocket.

I hope you are doing fine w/o taking it. I would probably feel the same way you do if I had the health issues you did.

Are you rated by the VA with your AS?

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I started having problems while in the service with AS and within a week after I got out, I was hospitalyzed for over a week...not being able to walk because of the pain. Back then, 1969-70, no one could diagnose what my problem was....I went to approx 15 Doctors. I know AS is supposededly a genetic thing and I have a positive HLBA 27, but not one out of 8 siblings had this. I just worked around it with lots of OTC pain medications for several years until I was sent to a specialist who diagnosed it in 1980. I knew I still carried schrapnel from a booby trap in Nam and some say AS is caused from bacteria etc and I sure had enough of that in Nam, so I filed and went all the way to the BVA with my claim for AS and was denied...this was before we had the COVA... so I had no where to go. I waited awhile and filed again under joint pain etc and was awarded 20% which was later moved up to 40% to include degenerative disc disease. I didn't know at the time, but the 4 or 5 denials that my AS was service-related was a blessing in disguise. I worked for about 18 years as a Postal City Carrier until I just plainly could not do it anymore, and anyone who has worked for the Postal Service knows there is NO help at all for a disabled worker, I applied for over 40 jobs with a low score of 105 on the Civil Service exam, because I had 10 points added for Purple Heart, anyway EVERY single one was turned down and as they say, they just plain wore me out. I had been having more problems with Supervisors etc and the VA had awarded me 50% PTSD. I finally got fed up and asked for a raise on the PTSD, the C&P Psychiatrist wrote in his Report, "I am ordering this patient to stop work immediately, he is totally and permanently disabled from PTSD." Meanwhile, my Board Certified Rheumatologist had gotten my AS approved as permanently aggravated by my job duties. He had been trying to get me to stop work for some time....so the day I came home from the VA C&P, I turned in papers to the Postal Service for Civil Service Disability, OWCP related total Disability from AS, and I filed for SS Disability. The key is you CANNOT draw Federal OWCP and VA Disability for the SAME condition, so I never mentioned my PTSD on the OWCP application. I also filed for an upgrade to 100% from the VA. The SS approved me within 30 days..no examination..actually I talked to them and told them I knew I had enough quarters for SS Disability, but since I had not paid into SS for the 18 years I had worked under Civil Service, hence not enough RECENT quarters for SS, but I wanted the free Medicare Part A. OWCP and Civil Service approved within 60 days for AS Disability and I chose OWCP since it paid more and the VA approved 100% PTSD within 60 days. So their screwing me all those years turned into my benefit financially, since I then had 100% for AS under OWCP and 100% for PTSD under VA and by law they both had to pay. OWCP and Blue Cross, which I kept, both agreed to pay for the Embril, but I go for 6 weeks physical therapy about 3 times a year, OWCP paid to add a room on to my my house and paid for the hotub to go in it, they bought me an adjustable, raise up and down, and massage type bed. They purchased a tens unit, and I still take nsaids and approx 4 percocet a day...the pain gets old and at times it's very very hard, but I keep holding on...I can't do anything, but that grows on you too. I was told that AS sometimes settles down after some years, but I have had it since 1970, diagnosed in 1980 and it has never faded out with me. I still say it was from the bacteria, nasty water, chemicals, etc etc and or either from the schrapnel, but now it doesn't matter anymore where it came from...I'm stuck with it. Good luck with your treatments! The best thing to do is probably contact your VAMC and talk to the Cheif of Pharmacy and see what he says about it, since it FDA approved treatment, if your doctor pushes it, it can probably be gotten through the VA.

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Posted · Report post

You can call any VAMC and ask the Pharmacy what their policy is. Cause it is so expensive I bet that they will either require a specific Doc to write your prescription or will say no it is not on the formulary. In that case if you have your treating Doc write that a substitute is not acceptable and you need the med they will have to prescribe it to you. When you get out no matter what your rating I think the VA has to treat you with no copays.

Good Luck

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Thanks,

I will call the VAMC and inquire.

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I am assuming all VA's are the same but I believe that may not be incorrect. I know the Tampa VA carries both. You have to have tried and failed all other meds it takes about 4 weeks to get approved.

I got it but decided not to use it. I am a diabetic and have frequent infections with another disease process.

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