Every time I think the hepatitis C world has made progress, something shakes my confidence. It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from people saying that their insurance denied hepatitis C treatment. Unfortunately, I’ve been contacted recently by frustrated patients trying to get affordable hep C treatment. If this happens to you, here are a few tips to try.

Get help from the experts. Insurance, prescription drug coverage and patient assistance programs can be mind-boggling subjects. Fortunately, there are people who do this every day, and they know what they are doing. These patient advocacy programs are free and can streamline the process. Hep has a list of patient advocacy programs and other patient assistance programs. The one that I have the most experience with is the Hep C Careline hepatitisc.pafcareline.org1(800) 532-5274.

Don’t stop asking for help. Help4Hep is a non-profit, peer-to-peer helpline where counselors work with patients to meet the challenges of hepatitis C. Call Help4Hep and ask them for assistance: (877) Help‑4‑Hep (877‑435‑7443).

Keep your sanity by getting support. Join the Hep Forum http://forums.hepmag.com.

If you are on Medicaid, be informed about access to hepatitis C treatment in your state. The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable maintains information about access to hep C treatment. 

Get a second opinion. If your doctor won’t treat your hepatitis C, get a new doctor.

Document everyone you talk to, dates and everything that was said. If treatment denial continues, report your insurance company to your state insurance commissioner.

Be patient, but persistent. Many people get the medication eventually from insurance, so don’t give up.