Are you satisfied with your migraine treatment plan? Do you have barriers to care? As a diverse population with diverse types of migraine, we each require personalized migraine action plans. To create a migraine action plan that you are satisfied with and is successful, you need to have access to any and all resources.
There are many barriers to migraine management, especially when it comes to not having access to care. Care barriers may stem from:
- Medication denials from insurance
- High copays
- Lack of local headache specialists
- Lack of headache specialist insurance coverage
- Issues with transportation to appointments
- Issues with internet for telemedicine appointments
Migraine education for doctors, as well as the migraine community and general public, remains uncharted territory. Access to appropriate and timely care, current and evidence-based resources, and overall support are essential for a successful migraine action plan. When you have access to optimal healthcare, you gain a relationship and approach to communication with a care provider. This opens the door to treatment resources, so you can be an active member of your caregiving team.
Migraine Access = Equity of Healthcare, Education and Health Insurance
You need access both to educated healthcare members and to current migraine treatment options. Who better to defend denied access than a patient advocate? More specifically, you! You are the best advocate for seeking and asking for optimal healthcare — even demanding it at times. You are the best advocate for yourself, since you know what is most needed and why.
Self-advocacy is incredibly empowering. This is especially true for a disease that is disabling and takes control and decision-making away from those who live with it. You can self-advocate by:
- Creating a way for you to approach, get or use information
- Appealing insurance denials
- Fighting to see a doctor who is educated on headache medicine
- Becoming informed about the resources that are available to you
- Partnering with your healthcare professional to develop a personalized migraine action plan for yourself
Advocacy is not only publicly lobbying for policy changes and the innovation and establishment of programs. It is not only partnering with advocacy organizations to help maximize how and where migraine care, resources and education are available. It begins with yourself and what you can do to achieve your own healthcare equity. Advocacy is learning more about this disease, and finding ways to expand your migraine toolbox and action plan. Advocacy is about finding ways to take action for yourself, even when those steps are small. Self-advocacy is a way of telling yourself that you matter. It sends a message to others that you have a voice that needs to be heard!
Are you ready for the challenge?
What are ways you can practice self-advocacy?
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