I was catching up on Glenda's SSI post and noticed Sandy asked about health insurance. First off we're all pulling for you Glenda! A victory for one is a victory for all. I thought I would open a new discussion since this can be such an involved subject.
Two years ago I had to quit working. Up to that point I had insurance. As most of you probably know you can get coverage through COBRA for a year after employment. However it's normally extremely expensive and you're better off just paying the bills yourself unless you need surgery or something. My COBRA benefits would have cost $300 per month which was the difference between eating and not for my family.
For myself I was not able to get insurance for awhile. My husband had no coverage through work at the time. I had to have surgery while uninsured and that along with not working and having no income led us to bankruptcy.
Luckily last July we received benefits through my husband. Here's what I know about what you can do though. A lot of it varies from state to state. If you have to stop working you can apply for Medicaid/Medicare if you're income is below their approval limit. If you're single you can usually qualify. Also there are many state sponsored programs for uninsured people that are also based on a sliding scale. The program in Colorado can be as low as $25 per year with a low copay. It just depends on your income. We were about $.10 an hour over the limit so I couldn't get that either for myself, just for my son. But it still helped.
Many insurance companies are offering cheaper benefit packages for self insured people as well. You can search for quotes on-line. And finally most communities have clinics that will charge you based on a sliding scale if you have no insurance. If you have to see a different doctor they will usually work in conjunction with your regular doctor that you can't afford to see to make sure you get the same care.
Now I'm sure there is lots of knowledge out there that I don't posess so take it away TEAM FIBRO...
Thanks for starting a new post on insurance. It is a huge problem, isn't it??? It scares me to death to have to quit my job, but it's becoming ever increasingly clear that I soon will have no choice. I'm an administrative assistance, working full time (40 hours per week). My biggest areas of pain are my right elbow, left wrist, right knee, left hip and upper back/neck/ shoulder areas. You can see by this that it's not specifically one side, which if it was, at least I could use the opposite arm/hand to type, etc. I know that my car loan and one other loan I have would be taken care of since I have insurance on them (if I can't work they'll be paid for). This won't help my insurance situation though. I work for an extremely small company that does not offer COBRA insurance. I know this because one girl who quit not long along wanted it but it wasn't offered. I am single and live on my own and must be able to keep afloat. I, luckily, have the option of moving back in with my parents. That would help (although I would absolutely hate to do it, but may have no choice). I hate to burden them with my problems, so having people like you all to talk to helps so much!! Thanks again.
I took COBRA from my last job for 18 months. However, when I tried to get my own insurance I was uninsurable except for insurance companies where rates were what no human being could afford. I am widow of deceased military man. I was fortunate in this respect or I would be up the creek. However, this is not a military town. I had to hire a driver to take me to city where military base was present to get a new ID card so I have health insurance this way or I would be uninsured. At first pharmacy told me they would not accept my ID card as it would not pay for prescriptions, but since then all my prescriptions have been covered 100%. I also was able to become semi-retired and draw on his social security which is another blessing. I am now working part-time and can only make a small monthly salary. (TT)