Man kicked off AHCCCS in middle of cancer treatment - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Man kicked off AHCCCS in middle of cancer treatment

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Carl Collins Carl Collins
PHOENIX -

Getting a job, especially these days, is usually a good thing. Not for one valley family. It turns out the extra income disqualifies them for state health insurance.

The Collins family needs insurance Carl has cancer, and just had a bone marrow transplant to battle it.

His wife, who had quit her job a year ago to care for her husband, went out and got a job. Then the state dropped their coverage.

One year ago at this time, the blood cancer had taken a lot out of Carl Collins of Phoenix. Today he looks healthier after a bone marrow transplant. His battle now is with the state of Arizona's AHCCCS insurance.

The state dropped him from coverage in the middle of the cancer treatment.

"He was taking 30 to 35 pills daily for the anti rejection medication, and antibiotics to keep him from getting sick cause he has no immune system," says wife Robin Collins.

Collins was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma two years ago, a blood cancer.

AHCCCS state insurance paid for a bone marrow transplant at U of A medical Center for the 56-year-old in September of 2011. Why did the state drop him? His wife says it's something she did. She went out and got a job that pays her $13.50 an hour.

The couple has five kids with two sons still living at home, but Robin says the new job put her over the state's minimum of $1,261 a month. Make more than that, you get kicked off.

Why not quit her new job?

"If I quit my job right now we'd have to go back to DES, get back on food stamps, food card thing. They put us all back on insurance and we would be sitting here with nothing. And that's no way to live we're hard working people," says Robin.

Collins, a former construction worker, hasn't been doing follow up medical treatment because without insurance they simply can't afford it.

"I've been through the hard part of it and I need to have continual maintenance, need to have continual drugs, continual office visits, continual tests done on me," says Carl.

AHCCCS says if your income changes, and you're on AHCCCS, then you are not eligible anymore -- period.

Now if Robin Collins loses her job, then she can reapply for AHCCCS coverage.

In the meantime, Carl Collins sits with no treatment following his bone marrow transplant. The family is trying to raise funds.

To help: www.youcaring.com/fundraiser_details?fundraiser_id=9231&url=letshelpcarlfightcancer

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