Voices Across America

A year and 2 surgeries to get through step-therapy


State: Ohio
Congressional District: OH10


Eye Disease, Gastrointestinal Disease

Issues and Challenges

Rachael has encountered: Access to Expert Providers, Copay Issues, Insurance Issues, Invisible Illness, Job Insecurity / Loss, Premium Payments, Prior Authorization, Step-Therapy / Fail First, Underserved Community

My Story

Getting diagnosed with a chronic disease is a bittersweet feeling, because you are happy to know why you are sick, but sad to know that your life will forever look different. I felt this when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and shortly after when I was diagnosed with Uveitis.

Learning to live a life managing multiple chronic illnesses includes daily struggles, but one thing I didn't expect would be such an issue was learning to navigate barriers in our flawed healthcare system. Once I was finally set with a healthcare team and medication that was working for me, my insurance company made a decision that my medication was not covered anymore. I quickly went into a flare, which resulted in surgery. During this flare, I was forced to start step-therapy, even though all my medical providers knew what worked well. The insurance company denied multiple rounds of appeals. It took almost a year and two surgeries for my medication to be approved again.

My healthcare journey has taught me how to advocate for myself. I now want to advocate not only for myself but for others to ensure that our healthcare system doesn't prevent any patient from getting the care and treatment they need.

My Motivation and Inspiration

I am motivated to ensure that every patient has access to the healthcare they deserve and need.

Share This Story

Find More Stories

Browse the map or filter by:

Click on pins to view stories.


Get the most from every Story

Find A Compelling Patient Story

Share it on social media.

Share Your Story On Our Network

Share your insights, challenges and what keeps you going.