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what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rockport,TX. U.S.A
Posts: 2
KallieY HB User
what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance

what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance and have low income. I am diabetic and have high blod presure. i have been suffering with kidneystone's for over 9 yrs on my right kidney. It has gotten to the point where Iam in constant pain. I am afraid of what may be happening. Thinking of going to ER ,but afraid of being turned away . I live in south TX ,I am unable to work, my husband works but our income is only 1,100 a month and I was told by the DHS office that in order for me to be elgible for medicaid I have to either be Pregnant or only have income of 200.00 .We have 2 kids. I was also told that TX does not have Spend Down any more. I am to the point I want to give up, so tired of hurting!

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Old 10-01-2010, 03:34 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pender, NC, USA
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wickedaj87 HB User
Re: what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance

Hello KallieY, my name is Amber.
I've been through almost the exact same circumstance only I dont have a husband. I have a very supporting father who's been trying his hardest to help my while raising my 4 little brothers by himself.
I'm not sure if this information will help you where you are since I live and had my surgery and procedures all done in North Carolina. But I hope to God it will because I know just how stressful and terrifying the situation is.
I was denied by what is called medicaid down here for the exact same reasons you were.

First, eaither go to the ER or schedule and appointment with a DR. normally you cant see a urologist until referred. The good thing though about ER visits is that they can NOT turn you down, it's illegal if they do and there is no upfront costs like most DR visits. And later, when the bill comes in, if needed you can go to the billing center and explain and show proof of you financial hardship and they normally waive the bill, most of it if not entirely. But you need to focus on getting yourself better. If what you do need is to see a urologist or anyone else that they refer you to then please do that. This advice should work for you whether or not its a urological problem.

Try this, talk to your Urologist (if you currently have one) explain the situation, trusted ones normally have a discount program for people in our situation and are very willing to help. Mine helped me tremendously. $100 got me through 3 visits before the surgery. They will also be able to inform about any Vocational Rehab offices in your area. This is very important that you ask about this as VOCATION REHAB paid for EVERYTHING for my surgery. THey paid the hospital, the surgeons, the anesteoligists, the nurses, the 4 day stay. EVERYTHING. They are even paying for my 3 post op appointments.
ALSO, ask which ever hospital you will be having your procedures done at for an application for Charity Care. Most public hospitals (I never even knew hospitals could be private, but apparently they can.) offer Charity care.
Just be sure that you get all this done ASAP.

So to recap:
Talk to Urologist about payment options and financial situation.
Find a Vocational Rehab office or similar for your area.
Apply for every possibly Charity Care available in your hospital and area.
Please take care!

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask me. I hope I helped you at least a little bit.

I was finally lucky enough that after what felt like a long road of failings, pain and hardship, constantly hearing "No, we can't help you." that I had finally found a group of angels who were willing to take the time to tell me what I needed to do to help myself and point me towards some true compassionate people who had to be a god send.


PS. I was diagnosed with a birth defect that was discovered in november of 2009. I had had several ER and Dr.'s visits since age 10 due to severe abdominal pain but they kept telling my dad that I was only seeking attention. It took my second time have 1/2 glass of wine and an ER visit in raleigh for them to actually run some real tests (a simple CT scan) to find out that I had a narrowed ureter from my left Kindey to my bladder and my referred Urologist in 2010 took notice that I had practically no function left in that kidney because of long term damage and had an open nephrectomy (kidney removal) on 9/21/10 (Still recovering) because that was the safer choice.
The only reason it took nearly a year is because I spent 3 months away in CA for personal reasons and tried to ignore the constant pain and scary diagnosis because of my financial hardship. But another ER visit in 2010 gave me that wake up call I needed.

Last edited by wickedaj87; 10-01-2010 at 03:45 AM. Reason: explain situation

Old 10-01-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rockport,TX. U.S.A
Posts: 2
KallieY HB User
Smile Re: what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance

Thank you so very much for your advice. I now have no other choice but to go to the E.R. when the pain gets bad enough. I am trying to be strong and deal with the pain, but it is getting impossible . Especially now . My family doctor stopped refilling my pain medication . I was on Hydrocodone 375mg and I would make 30 last me a month only taking it when I could no longer bare the pain, and he only refilled it 4 times. I told him the whole story and what is going on . He told me that I needed to see the same urologist that did the lithotripsy on my left kidney twice back 3 yrs ago, which I still had a stone in that side the last time I saw him before husbands job ended . I called the urologist and I was told that I would have to pay 3,600$ for him to do the lithotripsy.And that's not counting office visits.
Any way I know something has got to give ,hopefully its not me . I have a feeling that within the next few weeks maybe days I may have no choice and will have to go to E.R.
Wish me luck .I am glad you was able to get help .I wouldn't wish this pain on my worse enemy! Take care of your yourself and thank you again. I'm happy to know that there are some people out there who cares ! I will post again if any changes occur. You was most helpful , you helped raise my spirit some.

Old 10-02-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
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Location: Pender, NC, USA
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wickedaj87 HB User
Re: what to do if I need surgery and have no insurance

My doctor was doing the same thing for me with the pain meds but the only thing your are doing now is making it worse. It's a lot like cleaning a mess. Say your child makes a mess making lunch and doesnt clean after himself and no one else does, the mess is only going to get bigger and worse as time goes by and the longer it's ignored. Because the child isn't going to stop eating.

What I'm trying to say is get help and get seen ASAP. Only good things can come of it. I waited and ignored the pain after being told it was nothing and tried to convince myself of that fact. I endured pain that I didn't and shouldn't of had to for years. Then when I was finally given a diagnosis I waited almost an entire year before finally doing something about it. The Urologist had told me (in a nice way actually) that if this had been treated sooner (part of finding it and ignoring it) then they would have been able to save my Kidney. I wouldn't be stuck at home on all these meds trying to recover from a radical open nephrectomy. (and they didn't use the robotic surgery so I've got the big cut).

You need to get this treated immediately, don't put yourself at risk by waiting because it's not only your life that's on the line, it's also your loved ones. If something happens to you because you waited, how would your husband feel? Your family and friends?

PS: THe added photos. 2 of them are the photos the surgeon took of my removed kidney, they 3rd is for comparison. The 3rd one is what a normal kidney SHOULD look like.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Photo_092510_001.jpg (84.3 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Photo_092510_003.jpg (97.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg normal kidney.jpg (46.8 KB, 3 views)
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Last edited by wickedaj87; 10-02-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: add photos

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