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Thread: So Many Medical Bills...

  1. #11
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    I don't have insurance and running out of money. My husband and I both are self employed. I tried to get an individual policy before I was dx w/sle and was told that I was too fat to cover under a "normal" policy...I would have to go with $600.00 a month, a $5000.00 deductable, no vision or dental. Well at that time I was only going to my gyn every 3 months for my depo inj. and he was giving me a discount. By the way, at the time I was only 30 yrs old and that price did not include my husband. Well last year when I was dx w/ sle I tried again. They told me that they would not touch anything involving my lupus for 12 months and my premium would be $800.00 a month with a 30% increase every year around my birthday. Then I was told that there was a possibility that they would drop me at the time they were to start covering the sle. 2 other companies told me that lupus automatically excluded me from coverage. Since being dx, I've had a $3000.00 MRI, one set of blood test cost $1200.00, chest x-rays, hip x-rays, an ultra sound of my thyroid, etc. I see my Rhume every 6 weeks and get blood work done every six weeks. I'm on 6 different meds and start methotrexate as soon as I get rid of my bladder infection and bronchitis. By the way, the thyroid ultra sound showed problems so now I have to get a 2 day radiation test done to see if I have cancer. I have not worked in 3 months because of the "tooth ache" I have that runs down my back and my hip. It interfers with driving (I'm a real estate agent) and sitting and standing too long. Not to mention my increased problems with concentration and memory. I cost my husband a $1000.00 last week because I messed up a bid on one of his jobs....I have been bidding his jobs for the last 10 years and use to be able to do it with my eyes closed. I find amazing the things that you would consider second nature now requires the attention as if it was something you have never done before. I feel that I am starting to loose the confidence in my ablilities that have gotten me where I am today. Being able to represent someone in a real estate transaction requires you to sell yourself and you do that by exeuding confidence and ability. I also manage my husband flooring business and get new contracts for him...the same thing applies. He has had his business for 10 years now and we have never advertised. We are not even listed in the business section of the phonebook, but the phone rings. I am so scared of loosing my edge. I know I started this off with talk of insurance and money and I kinda veered off but it is all connected really. Even if the aches, pains, tiredness ever go away, where am I going to stand mentally. After all that is what is funding all of the aches and pains.
    I USE TO SKINNY DIP...NOW I CHUNKY DUNK!

  2. #12
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    Default BEAUCHICK -

    CHECK OUT THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PRESCRIPTION ASSISTANCE WEBSITE FOR HELP WITH MEDS. ALSO, I COPIED SOME INFO FROM THE VIRGINIA SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE WEBSITE BELOW

    You or your family members may qualify, even if you work, for programs such as Medicaid and FAMIS in Virginia. Generally, you can get coverage if youíre pregnant, a parent with a child living at home, a person with a disability, or a person who spends most of your income on health care. Children can often get coverage, even if their parents donít quality. In Virginia, children can get coverage if their family income is less than the amounts shown below.

    Size of Family
    2
    3
    4

    Income
    $25,669
    $32,180
    $38,700

    Income rules are complex

    So itís best to apply rather than try to guess whether you are eligible. Contact Virginia Medicaid at 800.643.2273. For help in working with the system, call Legal Services Corporation of Virginia Inc. at 804.782.9438, or visit http://www.valegalaid.org or http://www.lsc.gov/fundprog.htm.

    What's available if I have a serious medical condition or disability?

    You might qualify for Medicare even if youíre under age 65, if you have a disability thatís expected to last at least one year or expected to cause your death. You have to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance and receive it for 24 months before you can enroll in Medicare. Until then, you will have to find other coverage, such as with COBRA or Medicaid.

    Contact

    Social Security Administration: 800.772.1213 (800.325.0778 TTY), or visit http://www.ssa.gov/disability.

    Medicare: 800.MEDICARE (633.4227), or visit http://www.medicare.gov.

    For legal representation and other advocacy services (under all federal and state laws, to all people with disabilities), contact the Virginia Office for Protection & Advocacy at 804.225.2042 or http://www.vopa.state.va.us.

    If youíre blind or have a disability and your income is low or you spend most of your income on health care, you may qualify for Medicaid. People with a disability usually qualify because they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or you may be able to get Medicaid while waiting to find out if youíre eligible for SSI. Even if you donít qualify for SSI, you may still be able to get health insurance through Medicaid. The rules are complex, and many people are turned down the first time they apply. You can appeal.

    To find out if an insurer has received consumer complaints call the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance at 877.310.6560.

    For federal and state protections, visit http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net. Thereís a separate site for each state.

    For Virginia laws regarding coverage, call the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance at 877.310.6560.

    If I still can't find health insurance, what options do I have if I need medical care?

    Virginia is fortunate to have a strong system of safety net providers who deliver basic health care services at no or low cost. Virginia's safety net providers include free clinics, community health centers, rural health clinics, and local health departments. Additionally, if you have a planned hospital stay, you may be able receive help with the bills at a nonprofit hospital. Also, some states require hospitals to provide free or discounted care to people who are eligible. Many hospitals have financial assistance programs; ask to speak with a financial counselor or patient advocate. You might be able to negotiate a lower bill or better payment plan.

    For more information about safety net providers, contact:

    Virginia Association of Free Clinics
    http://www.vafreeclinics.org/

    Virginia Primary Care Association
    http://www.vpca.com

    Virginia Department of Health
    http://www.vdh.state.va.us/LHD/LocalHealthDistricts.asp






    You may qualify for State Pharmacy Assistance Programs in Virginia that can help with drug costs and health care or other expenses. The services are mostly for people 65 and older, but some programs are available to younger individuals. Visit http://www.benefitscheckup.org.

    Some pharmaceutical companies offer free or discount prescription drug programs to patients who have been prescribed their drugs. Visit http://www.needmymeds.com.

  3. #13
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    Hi Marycain,

    Thank you soooo much for all of the info. I knew about some of the programs but not all. I have spoken to a few people. I have an appointment with social security on the 24th. I think the biggest problem I have is that we look good on paper but that is not reality. My husband alone makes good money, atleast according to his 1099. lol. But business has been unpredictable for a while. We use to run seasonal due to new construction slowing down in the winter, so I could prepair. We also do "live in" residential and that normally picked up around tax season and major holidays....don't want the family seeing dirty carpet at christmas lol. But the economy has hit both of our professions. The carpet mills would increase thier price at the beginning of the year, if there was an increase at all. Last year we had an increase a month for the first 6 months. They blame it on the gas prices because most of the carpet manufactured comes from Georgia and all carpet is made of petroleum products. And on my end....everyone is waiting for that real estate bubble to burst. The other problem I have, no offense to anyone, we do not have children. It seems to be easier for people in the great commonwealth of va., assistance wise, with children to get help. Again, I am not trying to offend anyone. I guess my point is that self employed, middle class, small business owners fall in the cracks. We may look good on paper at the end of the year but the money is not a steady flow and sometimes not even on a weekly or even biweekly schedule. I have been told that if the disability does not come thru, after appeal and an attorney, that my next recourse would be to become legally seperated from my husband. I will be 33 on the 23rd of this month and on the 25th will celabrate my 16 yr wedding anniversary. Lets just say.....seperation is not an option. I will live out of my truck before I sign seperation papers. I'm sorry I'm venting. Again Marycain, thank you for your thought and time. I hope things are well with you and yours. I look forward to speaking with you again soon.


    Sincerely,

    Kathy
    I USE TO SKINNY DIP...NOW I CHUNKY DUNK!

  4. #14
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    Default I UNDERSTAND - WE SOUTHERN GIRLS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER

    I'm also self-employed so I understand the frustration when your income seems to depend on factors you can't control. It may not help you this year, but remember you can itemize and deduct your medical expenses on your taxes, so you do want to keep records on how much you spend. Also, if you can show that you are spending a substantial amount of your monthly income on medical expenses, you may qualify for some assistance regardless of your income. I think it helps to make out a spreadsheet that shows your estimated monthly income, the amount of fixed expenses such as house payment or utilities, and the amount you spend each month on recurring medical expenses like your doctor visits, labs and prescription medications. That way, when you apply for programs, you can show that you have a genuine need.

  5. #15
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    Default insurance advice needed ASAP

    Hi all,

    I just graduated from grad school and am looking for work. I extended my health insurance as far as I could through December of this year, but after that I don't know what to do. If I obtain employment how do I deal with the whole pre-existing condition issue? I think in Illinois they can deny coverage for about 12 months! And if I don't get a job by then or a job w/insurance, can anyone recommend a good individual insurance plan for someone with SLE? I've been very lucky. I was diagnosed as soon as my symptoms (joint pain) started back in May and have responded well to my meds. I'm 27 and otherwise healthy. I'm at a good weight for my age and height, don't smoke or drink. But I know there's a big stigma for lupus patient coverage with insurance companies. I would really appreciate any info or advice. Thank you all, and God bless.

  6. #16
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    Saysusie is offline Super Moderator Super ModeratorEmperor of the Universe
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    I hope that someone has answers for you. I was already a Government employee when I was diagnosed with Lupus, so my insurance etc continued with no problems!!

    Saysusie

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