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Moving from California to Massachusetts with RA

Hi everybody!

My name is Elissa. I am almost 44 and was diagnosed with RA in 2012. I currently take leflunomide and Enbrel, and my symptoms are well managed. I live in California and have Kaiser Permanente for insurance. Overall I have been happy with my doctors and my care.

My husband and I have decided to move to the east coast to be closer to my family, get away from the wildfires (I also have asthma), and to generally have a better quality of life than we can afford here. We are looking at Massachusetts because most of my family is there, there are lots of jobs in education (my field), and it consistently ranks as one of the best states in the country for health care.

I would love any suggestions on moving to a different state and looking for insurance with an RA diagnosis. I currently have Kaiser through my job, and though there is a chance I may be able to keep my job, I will lose Kaiser as it is not in Massachusetts. I plan to tell my doctor closer to the date (next spring or summer) and get her input as well. I also plan to refill my prescriptions as much as I can. I would be fine off the leflunomide for a while, but I will start getting symptoms again after being off Enbrel for a couple months.

Also, we are planning on taking a couple weeks to drive across the country. If anyone has done that with Enbrel or a similar med that needs to be kept cool, please share how you did it. I know it can technically be fine at room temp for a couple weeks, but it will be really hot on that drive.

Thank you so much!

  1. Hi Elissa,

    The classic medication and travel dilemma! I've had to be creative about this many times because my medication can't be left warm for longer than 2 hours...

    Check out these great articles for tips on traveling with RA:
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/traveling-with/
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/travel-tips/
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/traveling-with-refrigerated-medications/

    I bought this cheap & small cooler pack for plane rides because it stays cold 10 hours: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MNBTT4P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    For a long trip like you're going on I'd probably use a small ice cooler and keep replenishing the ice as you go!

    Have a safe trip! I grew up in California and it's so sad what's going on with all the fires 🙁 I don't blame you for wanting to leave!

    Wishing you all the best,
    Franki (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

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