Dear editor,

Planes, trains and automobiles present a real problem for me. I am claustrophobic, so these small, often overcrowded paces make me anxious and uncomfortable.

Traveling is a fact of life, however, so I use a prescription medicine to reduce the effects to a level I can deal with. I may not enjoy the center seat on a long flight, but I am not in full-blown panic.

I’m grateful that safe treatments exist, because otherwise I’d be very restricted in what I could do day to day. It would be great if even more effective options with fewer side effects could be developed, so those of us with phobias could truly put our fears behind us.

While I benefit from today’s therapies, the out-of-pocket costs charged by my insurance are high. When my supply gets low, I dread saving up for the refill. I recognize that for many patients, out-of-pocket costs make treatment unaffordable and they are left to try to “gut it out”— which isn’t possible or fair.

It seems that insurance should recognize the value of behavioral health medication and charge less in co-pays and out-of-pocket costs so more patients can access the treatment they need.

Mary Hall

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