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Old 05-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
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No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

I am new to this board -- but have posted a question on the lung cancer board. My 49 year old younger brother recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Father died 9 yrs ago due to Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Sarcoma. Maternal grandparents died of liver cancer and pancreatic cancer. Mother and all maternal aunts had hysterectomies at young age due to cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors. Maternal Uncle recently underwent surgery for colon cancer -- in other words, seems to run in the family.

I lost my health coverage when my husband became disabled 7 years ago, and the last time I went to the doctor was 4 years ago, for stomach problems. Did colonoscopy, paid full price out of my own pocket, and was fine. Had partial hysterectomy (left ovary remains) due to endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors 21 years ago when I was 29. Everything was fine until started having stomach problems 4 years ago.

Stomach problems have gotten progressively worse: constant pain in stomach, radiates to back, strange and deep sickening pains wake me at night. Also have intermittent pain in left ovary area that is indescribable and crippling. Thank goodness it just comes and goes. Bloated, my abdomen is huge, experience a lot of gas, belching (very unladylike!), constant battle between watery stools and constipation. I have put on about 25 pounds in the past few months for no reason, mainly in my middle section, where I have never ever had a weight issue, even after both of my pregnancies. I attributed the reason I get winded so easily and feel tired most of the time, even after I wake in the mornings, to the extra weight gain -- but now I am no so sure. For a few years now, I figured the symptoms were gall bladder related, or maybe GERD. That was until I started looking about 4 months pregnant. Also feel frequent need to urinate, and then there is nothing.

Sorry this has turned into a novella .... any ideas? And, any suggestions on financial assistance for medical exam?

Thank you.

Last edited by tllew1; 05-20-2008 at 12:07 PM.

 
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Hello...I don't have many ideas but I did do a quick search for "pro bono healthcare for the uninsured in TX" and got back a few hits especially in san antonio. You may want to try that route and see if you can come up with anything. Otherwise, emergency rooms can not turn you away in the case of emergencies. So if you are having crippling pain, you may need to go to the ER. You may end up with a bill but getting care is paramount. Another idea but not sure how viable it is...are there any medical schools that see patients? I know my dad had dental work performed by students (under supervision) at reduced prices and it worked out well for him.

Hope this helps.

 
Old 05-20-2008, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Thank you, Mommyandwifey, for responding. Texas is a mighty big state, and San Antonio is quite a distance away. No, there aren't any medical schools in our area -- although we do have a residency program. I have already been that route four years ago when I had the colonoscopy. Told the residence my symptoms, and he insisted on the colonoscopy. I insisted on an ultrasound (cheaper and perhaps more indiciative of my symptoms), but he ordered the colonoscopy. I tell you, when you start paying for these procedures, out of your own pocket, without any reductions like insurance, it gets PRICEY.

Thank you for responding. To be honest, I am really afraid that I might be dealing with cancer ... and if that's the case -- well, do I REALLY want to know? I don't think so. Already seen what the treatment is like, don't want it, and can't afford it.

Best wishes to you for having a kind spirit. May God Bless.

 
Old 05-20-2008, 07:37 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Tll

In WV where I live, if a person doesn't have health insurance they may qualify for a medical card. The problem is they must be under a minimum income to qualify. I assume they would have something similar where you live. Also sometimes a dr will accept small monthly payments.

I am sorry about your situation. I have medical insurance but it doesn't pay for everything. I can't wear regular shoes because of an injury. My insurance refuses to pay for orthopedic shoes because I am not diabetic. The shoes will cost me five hundred dollars out of my own pocket.

My prayers are with you.

Sincerely Nadine

 
Old 05-21-2008, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Many doctors will see patients who don't have insurance if they work out a payment plan before the appointment. They also will cut the charge as they're not billing insurance. If you have no luck going this route sounds like you need to make a visit to the ER ASAP. IF you have cancer, then yes, you want to know. I'm sure you have family who loves you and wants you to be around for as long as possible. At least getting a diagnosis and treatment is better than the alternative if you have something that could potentially kill you. The ER will bill you and you can work out a payment plan with the hospital. They have to take what you can give. Even if it's only $20/month. Just be sure to tell them you're worried you may have cancer and don't let them dismiss you without ordering diagnostic tests.

 
Old 05-21-2008, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Nadine,

Thank you for responding to my questions, and your suggestions. Yes, Texas has a program for the indigent, but although on a fixed income, we are far from being indigent (thankfully). Most doctors and clinics in our area accept Medicare, and as long as they do, they cannot reduce their rates for uninsured patients. In order to abide by the rules, they must charge certain rates, and those who don't have insurance must pay the full price, without disallowances, which are common with Medicare and other insurances. Plus, we are already spending anywhere between $500 to $700 a month on doctor and prescription co-pays for my husband's chronic medical condition -- which would be about what the premiums for my own medical health care coverage would cost.

There must be some way you could file an appeal with your insurance, get documentation from your doctor, and fight the decision of your insurance company. Since my husband has become disabled and been awarded Medicare, I have learned alot about fighting with the Medical Insurance companies!

Guess I have been so focused on my husband's health, I have ignored my own until it has just about gotten unbearable. With my husband's illness, it has been one life threatening crisis after another for the past seven years.

Thank you for your prayers -- and I will keep you in mine as well.

 
Old 05-21-2008, 09:09 AM   #7
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Thank you for responding. Yes, you are right, many family members love and depend on me, so I really need to check on this to either confirm or put my mind at ease. I was amazed while searching pro bono healthcare in my state to discover that there is a cancer organization with a listing of clinics for screening, and a facility for treatment within a few hundred miles of where I live.

Thank you ALL for your suggestions and support. Thank YOU!

 
Old 05-21-2008, 08:58 PM   #8
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Tllew

Thank you for your prayers. My Primary Care Physician wrote a letter to my insurance company. She explained to them that I was in pain and could not wear any type of shoe except for Orthopedic shoes. The insurance company said that only diabetics are covered for Orthopedic shoes, no exceptions

I hope you are able to see a doctor soon and have some tests run. My prayers are with you. I hope you'll stay in touch.

Nadine

 
Old 05-22-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Medical Assistance, or Medicaid as it is known is available FEDERALLY for anyone who qualifies...your husband, being on disability should qualify for it. ANd, if you are not making enough money to support minimum requirements to get low cost healthcare, you definately can get it too. Medicaid will cover all doctors appts and emergencys..
have you looked into it?
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Yes, we have checked into Medicaid -- and don't qualify. According to the qualifications, we materially own too much ... and are too affluent, at least according to their criteria.

But, thank you for responding and suggesting. It is really amazing the wonderful ideas presented here by posters -- I never would have found the clinics for the uninsured in my state had it not been for the suggestion of one poster. What a blessing!

 
Old 05-22-2008, 06:31 PM   #11
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Thank You Mommyandwifey -- you provide a wealth of knowledge and information. Because of your actions and suggestions, I did the same search that you did with my initial question and discovered the Cancer organization in my state that provides screenings and treatment for the low income and uninsured. And I will definitely check out this new information as well ... but, if memory serves me, the site I discovered using your search tools took me to this site, where I found resources in my own state!

Once I find out how well this information pans out, I feel that I must post the links on the health insurance information page on the Health Boards. The links and information will be beneficial to others in my same situation. I doubt that I am alone in my fears and predicament. Isn't that sad?

Oh, May God Bless You! I never would have known where to start if it hadn't been for you ... Thank YOU!!!!!!

 
Old 05-22-2008, 06:44 PM   #12
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Re: No Health Insurance -- any ideas?

Great...I'm glad this information has been helpful!! I can't take credit though...truly I am only the messenger. GOD is the source!

Also, your idea to post any info you find is a good one. I am sure there are many others that would benefit. My prayer is that one day no one has to deal with cancer or any illness for that matter. Sounds big to us but nothing is too big for Him.

Please post soon. Take care.

 
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