It is very difficult to answer your questions because each lab has it's own criteria for costs. I can tell you that several studies have suggested that the average annual cost to provide medical treatment for a person with lupus is $6,000 - $10,000. However, for some lupus patients, medical costs may exceed several thousand dollars every month due to medications, doctor's visits and hospital admissions.
Many people with lupus receive their health care through a government sponsored program such as Medicare or Medicaid. It might be in your interest, since you are unemployed, to see if you qualify for medicaid. It is rather difficult to qualify, so I am going to provide you with some brief information about it to help you in making a decision. Remember, this is general information..each state has their own criteria and this is what I found for Arkansas:
Medicaid is a program that helps pay for medically necessary medical services for needy and low-income persons. It uses state and federal government money. The Department of Human Services (DHS) runs the Medicaid program in Arkansas. Medicaid and Medicare are different programs. Medicare is federal health insurance. It pays for medical services for aged and disabled persons.
To apply for Medicaid, go to the Department of Human Services (DHS) office in the county where you live. If you are not able to go there, you may have a relative or a friend apply for you. You must sign an application form and give certain information about yourself and your family. The county office will determine your eligibility.
You can print out a Family Medicaid Application from the DHS Web site at www.arkansas.gov/dhs/dco. When you click the link, the site opens in a new window. To return to this page, close the window.
When you go to the county office to apply for Medicaid, bring the following information about yourself and your family:
Birth certificate or other proof of age
Social Security card
Letters or forms from Social Security, SSI, Veteran's Administration, or other sources that show the amount of your income
Insurance policies, including other health insurance policies
Bank books or other papers that show the amount of your assets
When you apply for Medicaid, DHS workers will explain the ConnectCare program and ask you to select your primary care physician.
Important points about Medicaid
Medicaid will not make payments to you but will pay doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who are enrolled in the Medicaid program.
Medicaid can help pay some of your medical bills, but not always all of them. If you're an adult on Medicaid, you will have to pay for part of your medical care.
Doctors do not have to bill Medicaid, even if they are Medicaid providers. Before you get a service or treatment, ask if it will be billed to Medicaid. If it will not, the doctor has to tell you. If you still want the treatment, you may have to pay for it yourself. Or, you can find another doctor who will bill Medicaid.
Most people must choose a "primary care physician," or PCP. Your PCP is the doctor who is in charge of your health care.
You will be given a card to show your doctor or health care provider. Take care of your card, and keep it with you at all times. It makes it easier to get the care you need.
Do not let others use your card, or you will lose it, and might even go to jail!
Who can get full Medicaid benefits?
It depends on how much money you make, how much property you own, your age, and your situation. Most people who can get Medicaid are in one of these groups:
Age 65 and older
Under age 19
The parent or the relative who is caretaker of a child with an absent, disabled, or unemployed parent
Living in a nursing home
Under age 21 and in foster care
In medical need of certain home- and community-based services
Have breast or cervical cancer
Disabled, including working disabled
If you can't get full Medicaid benefits, Here is a program that may be of help to you:
Medicaid Spend-Down - Medicaid Spend-Down
If you are hurt or sick and need a lot of care, you might be able to get temporary help from Medicaid even if you make too much money to get regular Medicaid.
To qualify for Medicaid Spend-Down, you must be spending a large part of your money on medical care.
You have to re-enroll in Medicaid Spend-Down every three months.
Contact the DHS (Department of Human Services) office in your county for details.
I hope that this has been of some help to you.
Peace and Blessings
Last edited by Saysusie; 08-16-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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