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I am just wondering what health insurance options are open to people with Lupus in the United States (since we are probably one of the only civilized countries in the world without universal health coverage). I am currently on Cobra through my previous employer. My husband is selfemployed and makes a comfortable living. I am afraid that when the Cobra runs out that we will not be able to get insurance because of me. I worry that he will have to divorce me so I can get medicaid. I do not think I would qualify for disability. Does anyone out there know of any resources for health insurance for people with chronic illnesses like lupus? :mad:
08-07-2004, 03:31 PM
Regarding health insurance:
I was diagnoised with Lupus in 1988, I work full time and I am not able to get Insurance thru my employer because i have Lupus. Thank good my husband has Insurance thru his employer. I was told that my husband can never drop our Insurance if he changes jobs, that he must always go on Corbra ( no matter how much it cost) or the new insurance company will not cover me under the new plan. We live in Florida and my husband pays 700.00 a month to cover me under his plan.
I have been having major flare ups lately, and just had an MRI of the brain to rule out vasculitis, thank god the MRI was negative, I am just having severe migraine headaches. I have a HX of Central Nervous System involvment with my lupus. I have had optic neuritis and lost eyesight in one eye for 2 months. had to go on high dose steroids.
I feel like I am in a brain fog most of the time, I work fulltime for a MD, and try so hard to never call in sick ( only1 time this year) because I see so many others that are so much worse then I am. Sometimes I feel that I just can't get out of bed in the mornings, my joints hurt so badly.
So please just stay on Cobra as long as you can, don't drop it.
I also live in Florida. Sounds like you are all set on ins. with your husband. However, it is my understanding of the law in Florida that if your employer has group health insurance, and you have had continuous coverage (I think for 12 months), that your employer cannot deny you coverage. I am pretty sure that is what the Portability of Health Insurance Act is that Clinton signed.
Don't worry about me dropping my insurance. I will pick up Cobra when I have to and if I have to go back to work to get ins., I will. Its just that I am hoping to not have to go back to work. My husband and I both agree its best for my health and our family. My husband thankfully makes enough to support us. Its just that he is self employed so I am just trying to find out if there are other self employed people with Lupus and what they do for coverage.
I hope that you are soon feeling better.
08-12-2004, 04:11 PM
Had you tried calling Humana? I've seen some ads on tv that actually they sell direct Health insurance. Maybe they can cover you even with the preexisting condition.
08-30-2004, 06:06 PM
i did cobra for 18 months after i got fired because of my illness in 1993. then after 18 months the option ended so i had no insurance and couldn't get any insurance. along comes 2002 with a reallybad flare incl strokes and kidney failure. i went to a teaching hospital which has grants to care for indigent (broke) patients. was there 8 days and got realllllly cheap meds as part of that plan and also free (lousy but free) clinic visits to the nephrology clinic, chemo, etc.
i finally qualified for medicaid by being broke and sick enough (i had been qualififed, it jsut took them months to go through the process of awarding it to me.) so now I have free dr visits and free meds (the drugs they approve. nothing fancy like zoloft or ambien, but the the sterids and antibiotics you can stand!) i also have a choice of ONE primary and ONE rheumatologist whom they will cover in my county. not crazy about them but i don't hve to like them. i just go list my complaints, get my labs checks, and get my prescriptions.
needless to say this health insurance problem affects everyone, not just those who are sick. people stay in jobs they hate just to have insurance. there are probably some fake marriages for insurance, like there are for green cards! (i had 2 different guy friends offer to marry me so i could get on their insurance! too weird, passed it up, got medicaid thank god. noone from medicaid had hit on me now that i'm feeling and llooking somewhat better...)
another option, not so great for us with chronic illnesses, is to get catastrophic only. it's a lot cheaper.
08-30-2004, 06:08 PM
my boyfriend had some issues with relatives and the husband signed something saying he was not willing to give uyp his assets to his wife for her medical care. somehow that separation kept the state from being able to take his assets, or to count them?
worth asking an accountant about this issue!!!