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Financial assistance

Forums General Melanoma Community Financial assistance

  • Post
    Nabokov
    Participant

    Hi, everyone

    I am a writer working on an article for oncology practices, to encourage them to have someone at the office who helps patients understand how much their insurance will pay and tell them about assistance programs available if they need them for their out-of-pocket portion.

    Hi, everyone

    I am a writer working on an article for oncology practices, to encourage them to have someone at the office who helps patients understand how much their insurance will pay and tell them about assistance programs available if they need them for their out-of-pocket portion.

    Some oncology offices already have such a person. I'm interested in hearing about experiences from patients.
    Did you have someone at the practice who was knowledgeable about insurance to talk to?
    Was information given to you at the beginning about how much your costs would be, or did this come after you got the bill (and, perhaps, were shocked).

    If you would like to respond here, that is fine, but also I would like to interview someone with experience (good or bad) and how the oncologists office did or could have helped you understand things.

    Please contact me at [email protected]

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  • Replies
      CKasper
      Participant

      Dear Marian,

       

      Sorry to say, no one at my institution ever advised me as to how much any treatment would be.  I go to a medical center which is has a reputation as one of the best in the US. 

      I was recently admitted to this medical center and asked if I could speak with a financial assistance person as I am financially destitute.  In other words I live off of about 600 per month.  No one would speak to me and I receive bills from them I cannot pay. Soon I'll be without telephone and internet as my mother who's only income is Social Security has helped me out, but can no longer do so. 

      Our lovely Social Security System denied my claim and suggested I retain a lawyer.  Well on 600 per month who can retain a lawyer and why should I have to?  I paid into the system since I was 15 years old and I'm in my mid 50s, my lovely husband of 36 years split after he fell in love with a stupid woman who is 20 years younger than he is and he has virtually thrown me away.  Medicaid?  I was suppose to hear something guaranteed 90 days after I applied, I have heard nothing and its been over 120 days. 

      All you Tea Party people.  I just want you to know I live in an area of the country where it gets below zero and I am disabled.  I have serious health issues to include melanoma and when I ran out of heating oil in February where the nightly temperature gets to zero, NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE would help me.  I guess its okay to freeze to death,.  If any of you think freezing to death is just falling asleep, its not.  Its very painful.  I lived in a house where the temp went to 10 below zero with no heat. If I freeze isn't it for the better good of all the Tea Party people.?  And for those of you who are on Medicaid and Medicare, many Medical Facilities aren't accepting these forms of medical insurance.  One of them is the Mayo Clinic as well as many doctors in private practice, because they say it doesn't pay them enough.

      The fact of the matter is as a nation we do not take care of one another and we don't care about each other.  If you pay attention to what is going on in Washington DC, which all of you should unless you are multi millionares or billionaires, the cuts they have made and are going to make will put all of us out on the street, because to the
      Tea Party people who are running the Republican Party, we are all just parasites and a burden on the economy. If any of you are Tea Party People and I have offended you….TOO BAD, because you do not have my best interest nor others like me, sick people who have no other alternative but to hopefully receive some type of treatment or comfort from our medical system.

      The dear boy who left me after 36 years for his 35 year old girlfriend, did give me health insurance, but made issue that its only temporary. 

      You can all tell me to take him to court which I did, and the court was very lienient (SP) on him.  They gave him a break because he said he didn't understand the court order to pay me.  So They gave him a pass and as we left th court house, he said to me "The Gravy Train is over dear, I'm not paying you a dime."  This court system isn't for women its for men and maybe its different in other states but not in the Live Free or Die State, and after Februrary I like to refer to it as the Live Freeze and Die State. I have had melanoma for a very long time and each night I pray God will take me home. 

      I guess I'm doing what Janner did which is BMW. 

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        MichaelFL
        Participant

        CKasper,

        It is my understanding that most SSI is declined the first time, so appeal it if you still can. (65 day s to appeal?) I believe that even the second time it is appealed the rejection rate is up to 70%. You have to do it several times before approval is granted. It is my understanding that it is better to appeal than open a new case too.

        From: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11164.html

        To qualify you also must have little or no income and few resources. This means that the value of the things you own must be less than $2,000 if you are single or less than $3,000 if you are married. The value of your home does not count. Usually, the value of your car does not count. And the value of certain other resources, such as a burial plot, may not count either.

        To get SSI, you also must apply for any other cash benefits you may be able to get.

        So, can you adjust your assets and appeal?

        Concerning the RI Medicaid: Since the 90 days are up, you should call them and be up their behind(the squeaky wheel gets the grease) Even before the 90 days were up, I would have been calling to see what was going on. In Florida, I believe one can still get medicaid if not approved for SSI, so I believe RI would be similar.

        From:http://www.dhs.ri.gov/AdultswithDisabilities/HealthMedicalServices/tabid/258/Default.aspx

        Health/Medical Services

        RI Medical Assistance

        The RI Medical Assistance Program, also known as "Medicaid," pays for medical and health related services for eligible Rhode Islanders.

        Eligibility

        Individuals with disabilities may be eligible for Medical Assistance if they:


        are 18 years or older

        a Rhode Island resident

        receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or

        have income less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and have resources (savings) of less than $4,000 for an individual or $6,000 for a married couple

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        MichaelFL
        Participant

        CKasper,

        It is my understanding that most SSI is declined the first time, so appeal it if you still can. (65 day s to appeal?) I believe that even the second time it is appealed the rejection rate is up to 70%. You have to do it several times before approval is granted. It is my understanding that it is better to appeal than open a new case too.

        From: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11164.html

        To qualify you also must have little or no income and few resources. This means that the value of the things you own must be less than $2,000 if you are single or less than $3,000 if you are married. The value of your home does not count. Usually, the value of your car does not count. And the value of certain other resources, such as a burial plot, may not count either.

        To get SSI, you also must apply for any other cash benefits you may be able to get.

        So, can you adjust your assets and appeal?

        Concerning the RI Medicaid: Since the 90 days are up, you should call them and be up their behind(the squeaky wheel gets the grease) Even before the 90 days were up, I would have been calling to see what was going on. In Florida, I believe one can still get medicaid if not approved for SSI, so I believe RI would be similar.

        From:http://www.dhs.ri.gov/AdultswithDisabilities/HealthMedicalServices/tabid/258/Default.aspx

        Health/Medical Services

        RI Medical Assistance

        The RI Medical Assistance Program, also known as "Medicaid," pays for medical and health related services for eligible Rhode Islanders.

        Eligibility

        Individuals with disabilities may be eligible for Medical Assistance if they:


        are 18 years or older

        a Rhode Island resident

        receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or

        have income less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and have resources (savings) of less than $4,000 for an individual or $6,000 for a married couple

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      CKasper
      Participant

      Dear Marian,

       

      Sorry to say, no one at my institution ever advised me as to how much any treatment would be.  I go to a medical center which is has a reputation as one of the best in the US. 

      I was recently admitted to this medical center and asked if I could speak with a financial assistance person as I am financially destitute.  In other words I live off of about 600 per month.  No one would speak to me and I receive bills from them I cannot pay. Soon I'll be without telephone and internet as my mother who's only income is Social Security has helped me out, but can no longer do so. 

      Our lovely Social Security System denied my claim and suggested I retain a lawyer.  Well on 600 per month who can retain a lawyer and why should I have to?  I paid into the system since I was 15 years old and I'm in my mid 50s, my lovely husband of 36 years split after he fell in love with a stupid woman who is 20 years younger than he is and he has virtually thrown me away.  Medicaid?  I was suppose to hear something guaranteed 90 days after I applied, I have heard nothing and its been over 120 days. 

      All you Tea Party people.  I just want you to know I live in an area of the country where it gets below zero and I am disabled.  I have serious health issues to include melanoma and when I ran out of heating oil in February where the nightly temperature gets to zero, NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE would help me.  I guess its okay to freeze to death,.  If any of you think freezing to death is just falling asleep, its not.  Its very painful.  I lived in a house where the temp went to 10 below zero with no heat. If I freeze isn't it for the better good of all the Tea Party people.?  And for those of you who are on Medicaid and Medicare, many Medical Facilities aren't accepting these forms of medical insurance.  One of them is the Mayo Clinic as well as many doctors in private practice, because they say it doesn't pay them enough.

      The fact of the matter is as a nation we do not take care of one another and we don't care about each other.  If you pay attention to what is going on in Washington DC, which all of you should unless you are multi millionares or billionaires, the cuts they have made and are going to make will put all of us out on the street, because to the
      Tea Party people who are running the Republican Party, we are all just parasites and a burden on the economy. If any of you are Tea Party People and I have offended you….TOO BAD, because you do not have my best interest nor others like me, sick people who have no other alternative but to hopefully receive some type of treatment or comfort from our medical system.

      The dear boy who left me after 36 years for his 35 year old girlfriend, did give me health insurance, but made issue that its only temporary. 

      You can all tell me to take him to court which I did, and the court was very lienient (SP) on him.  They gave him a break because he said he didn't understand the court order to pay me.  So They gave him a pass and as we left th court house, he said to me "The Gravy Train is over dear, I'm not paying you a dime."  This court system isn't for women its for men and maybe its different in other states but not in the Live Free or Die State, and after Februrary I like to refer to it as the Live Freeze and Die State. I have had melanoma for a very long time and each night I pray God will take me home. 

      I guess I'm doing what Janner did which is BMW. 

      Loading spinner
      nicoli
      Participant

      Dear CKasper,

      I am so sorry to hear of your situation.

      I too am very low income. However, I was able to get Supplemental Security Income, which is a part of Social Security. I had to call them repeatedly and it seems I got a different answer from each person.  Several problems later I finally ended up speaking to the supervisor who admitted that I had received wrong answers from most of the phone technicians. I did receive SSI and that made me eligible to apply for Medicaid.  Medicaid did not pay back to the beginning of my treatment and I ended up with several thousands of dollars of bills. However, once Medicaid kicked in, it covers all treatments.

      You will most likely NOT get Medicaid unless and until you qualify for some sort of Social Security.  It is for families with children living in the home and almost impossible to get otherwise.

      Most, if not all, states have some kind of county medical assistance which would be based on your income. I was on this before I qualified for Medicaid and I was billed only $200 for a $7000 PET scan. Still couldn't pay the $200 but it was a start.

      Don't expect any mercy from your medical providers. The want their money (I understand that) and will send you to collections as soon as they can. Many, many people in our country are bankrupted by medical bills.

      As for energy costs, contact LEAP, which is an energy assistance program in every state. They may be able to help.  

      Keep looking for help, there may be some available, depending on your situation. Check  with your local cancer treatment centers, hospitals, doctor's office, etc.  Churches and religious programs also abound. Ask everyone you know for information.

      Nicki, Stage 3b

      PS. I understand your frustrations with the "Tea Party". As a lifelong Republican, I didn't really understand poverty until it hit home.

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      nicoli
      Participant

      Dear CKasper,

      I am so sorry to hear of your situation.

      I too am very low income. However, I was able to get Supplemental Security Income, which is a part of Social Security. I had to call them repeatedly and it seems I got a different answer from each person.  Several problems later I finally ended up speaking to the supervisor who admitted that I had received wrong answers from most of the phone technicians. I did receive SSI and that made me eligible to apply for Medicaid.  Medicaid did not pay back to the beginning of my treatment and I ended up with several thousands of dollars of bills. However, once Medicaid kicked in, it covers all treatments.

      You will most likely NOT get Medicaid unless and until you qualify for some sort of Social Security.  It is for families with children living in the home and almost impossible to get otherwise.

      Most, if not all, states have some kind of county medical assistance which would be based on your income. I was on this before I qualified for Medicaid and I was billed only $200 for a $7000 PET scan. Still couldn't pay the $200 but it was a start.

      Don't expect any mercy from your medical providers. The want their money (I understand that) and will send you to collections as soon as they can. Many, many people in our country are bankrupted by medical bills.

      As for energy costs, contact LEAP, which is an energy assistance program in every state. They may be able to help.  

      Keep looking for help, there may be some available, depending on your situation. Check  with your local cancer treatment centers, hospitals, doctor's office, etc.  Churches and religious programs also abound. Ask everyone you know for information.

      Nicki, Stage 3b

      PS. I understand your frustrations with the "Tea Party". As a lifelong Republican, I didn't really understand poverty until it hit home.

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