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Life After Treatment

kalar7856's picture
kalar7856
Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 2004

Hi All,

I am a 3 year survivor who savors every cancer free day of life.
My demeanor is positive and happy.

My situation is this... I was a small business owner for over
20 years. My business was successful and I enjoyed a good life.
During the 6 months I was in treatment and recovery key employees
left for other jobs, worried I wasn't coming back. I couldn't be
there to run things and the business failed.

My question is this. Are there any support groups that help
survivors find jobs after treatment? I have an excellent set of job skills
that would benefit an employer yet have been unable to find employment.
Should I keep my cancer treatment a secret from prospective employers?

My health is now excellent and I desperately need employment and health insurance.

Thanks All
Ron C

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Ron,

You can join ANY job search networking group and are not obligated to disclose anything about your cancer history to a prospective employer because it is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act to discriminate against anyone because of a health condition:

"On September 25, 2008, 18 years after his father signed the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 into law, President George W. Bush signed the
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 ("ADAAA" or "Act").

The ADAAA goes a long way in restoring protections that were promised by the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but rescinded by unfavorable
Supreme Court decisions that interpreted the protections of the statute
narrowly.

When the ADA was passed in 1990, it adopted the definition of disability
used in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, such that an individual was deemed
to have a disability if he or she had a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limited one or more major life activities, had a record of
such an impairment, or was regarded as having such an impairment.

However, the Supreme Court, in 1999, narrowed the definition of
disability in their holding in *Sutton v. United Air
Lines
*. In *Sutton*, the Court held that when determining under the ADA if an
individual is disabled by an impairment that is substantially limiting,
consideration must be given to the effects of mitigating measures such
as corrective lenses, medications, hearing aids, and prosthetic devices.

In 2002, the Supreme Court went one step further in *Toyota v.
Williams
* by interpreting the word "substantially" contained in the ADA's definition
of disability to mean "considerably" or "to a large degree" and redefined a
"major life activity" as one that must be of central importance to most
people's daily lives.

The ADAAA rejects the holdings in *Sutton* and *Toyota* as well as portions
of the EEOC's ADA regulations. The ADAAA retains the ADA's basic definition
of "disability" as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major
life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having
such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms
should be interpreted in several ways. More specifically the ADAAA:

- directs the EEOC to revise that portion of its regulations defining the
term "substantially limits";
- expands the definition of "major life activities" by including two
non-exhaustive lists:
1) the first list includes many activities that the EEOC has recognized
(e.g., walking) as well as activities that EEOC has not specifically
recognized (e.g., reading, bending, and communicating);
2) the second list includes major bodily functions (e.g., "functions of
the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder,
neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive
functions");
- states that mitigating measures other than "ordinary eyeglasses or
contact lenses" shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual
has a disability;
- clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a
disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when
active;
- provides that an individual subjected to an action prohibited by the
ADA (e.g., failure to hire) because of an actual or perceived impairment
will meet the "regarded as" definition of disability, unless the
impairment is transitory and minor;
- provides that individuals covered only under the "regarded as" prong
are not entitled to reasonable accommodation; and
- emphasizes that the definition of "disability" should be interpreted
broadly.

The ADAAA becomes effective as of January 1, 2009."

http://www.hlnsj.com/index.cfm?section_id=b95832e3-1143-5852-6680-0fe1fa8e62e9

http://www.ada.gov/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080925-8.html
______________________________________________________________________________________

Ron, thanks, also, to the election of President Obama who promises to reform health-care so that "we" can no longer be rejected for individual health coverage because of "pre-existing conditions"!

Love, Courage, and never lose Hope!

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

I live in Canada but that is one of my biggest problems here too. I hope when President Obama comes up to Canada, which he is scheduled to do on his first visit out of the States, he will talk our Prime Minister Harper into the same kind of thing. Blessing to you both, Blueroses.

cboo1974's picture
cboo1974
Posts: 57
Joined: Oct 2008

I am now NED (no evidence of disease) and I am tired of my current job, was even before the cancer. How will I know if I get a new job if the insurance that they offer will take a preexisting condition of cancer w/o telling the potential employer? If anyone can offer insight on this I would appreciate it.
Cindy

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Cboo, This is just off the top of my head and Terato is really the expert on this and I am in Canada but how I find out things from companies sometimes if I need information is that I call anonymously and ask a general question to their employment departments and see if you get anywhere then. Of course you realize that if you take a job and they ask about whether you have preexisting conditions you have to answer honestly, so you are wise to find out ahead of time what their policies are for their insurance companies. I'm sure you already realized that. In Canada though I know for sure that there are not any insurance companies that will allow coverage with pre existing conditions but maybe that's just here or I haven't heard of any if there are. I have the same problem here but only got private insurance through a divorce situation I was in where I was covered under the government that my ex worked for so they allowed my transfer to a private company but if I leave them I am done for. I wouldn't be able to get private insurance anywhere with all the preexisting conditions I have. I know terato has worked long and hard on this cause in the states and best to talk to him and see what he says. All the best, good luck with this issue and by the way CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NED. Hugs, Blueroses.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

in exactly the same position here in the USA in regards to my insurance.
I can only get coverage through my ex because he is a former postal employee.
My three cancer dx's were while we were still married.
If I loose this insurance I am up a creek.
Does anyone know if Medicare will come through for me when I turn 65?
Am 60 now and just hoping I will be ok till I reach that 'magic' number, if it even is magic for me. The coverage I have now is minimal and would not be very helpful if I encountered a catastrophic illness.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

zahalene,

Follow this link for everything you wanted to know about Medicare:

http://www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?version=default&browser=Firefox|3|WinXP&language=English

"Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. If you aren�t yet 65, you might also qualify for coverage if you have a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).

Here are some simple guidelines. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

* You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.

* You are eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven't yet filed for them.

* You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if you have:

* Received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.

* End-Stage Renal Disease and meet certain requirements.

While you don�t have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet one of those conditions, you must pay for Part B if you want it. The Part B monthly premium in 2009 is $96.40. (Note: The Part B premium may be higher if your income is above a certain amount. For more information, see our FAQ: Medicare Part B Monthly Premiums in 2009. It is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you don�t get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.

Note: You will be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 even if you are not eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. For more information, please visit our retirement age FAQ.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A or Part B, or if you want to apply for Medicare, please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit or call your local Social Security office. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. You can also get information about buying Part A as well as Part B if you don�t qualify for premium-free Part A."

Love, Courage, and a Happier and Healthier Future in Retirement!

Rick

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

for doing this 'leg work' for me. I would not have known where to start for finding this info.
Hopefully, I will come under the umbrella for part A. But since I have never worked in the 'real world' and have virtually no social security built up, it's gonna be slim pickins when I 'retire'...lol
Blue wants to move in wit me....she likes to live dangerously! Ha-Ha!

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Wow Zah I didn't realize you had the same issues. We have a lot in common, ages too. I am too scared to ask about how all of this plays out when I reach 65. Oh yuck, remind me not to type that out anymore, how depressing - when the heck did I get this old? lol. Anywho, my ex is already threatening to drastically lower my alimony when I turn 65 (thanks you old --------), so I think he figures the government can take me over and he can use the money to fly all over the world on his many vacations. Man does he have a surprise coming. I'm sure the courts will favour his extravagent lifestyle over my health issues NOT. Oh oh I'm going off on the 'ex' tangent, sorry. Grrr. There I'm done. lol. I have to make that call to the government though to find out for sure but I have some time til I reach the magic number and I have a feeling the news won't be terrific so I will take the time to stress on only the 100 other health issues I deal with daily, as most of us do. It isn't like I will be able to cover the loss in these few years to 65, I can't work so sigh I may be coming to live with you Zah. lol. Sigh. Hugs, Blueroses.

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

In Canada there is some carryover when you reach 65 from what I have been getting through my disability insurance that ends at 65. But my ex is threatening to cut me off my alimony then too, thinking I can survive on government help as he builds his own house and takes yet another trip to europe for fun. Ya well, see you in court bud. There is also another fund here that adjusts so that your income doesnt sink too much after they cut you off disability but I don't have the specifics yet, too depressing to ask. When I get closer to 65 in a few years I will see what it all is specifically and will do it well ahead so that I'm not caught in long waiting lists. Hope it all works out for you Zah. Blessings, Blueroses.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Stupid stupid 65. lol. I am living in fear of what will happen to me financially when I turn 65 in 5 years. Actually tomorrow I am going to call the government and try and get a handle on how this will work Here in Canada at 65 the government automatically turns our federal disability over to what they call a retirement pension and of course its lower than the reg disability. We can file for a program to kind of even things out a bit but even with that its not enough to live on. My stupid ex threatened me about 5 years ago that he is going to end payments when I turn 65 but he is not getting off so easy as he gives me about 2/3 of my income from support payments so that is just nuts. I don't think he will look good in court with a brand new house he and his new wife have built from the ground up plus a fancy car plus several trips to europe each year and reneging on his ex wife - the gimp. Hope I can find a really nasty female lawyer to get me through the fight if it comes to that. His selfish divorce cost me a fortune, this time he can pay for it all.

Anywho I know you are in the states and things are different for you down there Zah, wonder what the passing of this new Health Care Bill that just went through yesterday will mean. Probably years of fighting to go before it really kicks in for the public.

Take care Zah. Blessings, Blue

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Cindy,

Your prospective employer's group insurance carrier will either have no restrictions on pre-existing conditions or impose a waiting period from 30 days to 12 months on a pre-existing condition, often waving the waiting period, if you have a certificate of insurance from your previous employer's group insurance carrier (Make sure to request one from your human resources department, if they don't give it to you automatically!). A certificate of insurance tells your prospective employer's insurance company that you are "insurable". You usually receive a certificate of insurance when you go on COBRA so that you have something to take with you when you receive a new job.

I have never had difficulty from any new employer's insurance carrier. (Of course, if they did try to mess with me on this, I would make their lives a living hell!)

Love, Courage, and Give 'em Hell!

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

In Canada it's just a no no for pre-existing conditions as far as I know. Maybe it will start up here somewhere since the states is doing it in some places. I sure hope so, it isn't fair.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Blue,

It's not as rosy as it seems, in the U.S., the rules for an employer's group health insurance carrier are different from that of someone attempting to purchase an individual health plan. An employer has the advantage of a "pooled risk", a number of employees with varying degrees of health, some good, some not so good, but the "average" considered an acceptable risk to the insurance company.

OTOH, an individual with a history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or a number of other ailments will find it virtually impossible to purchase his/her own policy because of his/her "pre-existing condition". In a few cases, he/she MAY find a company willing to cover everything else BUT the "pre-existing condition", providing an "exclusion" for that condition with the policy, which really sucks, big time!

Hopefully, with new leadership, things will change for the better.

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hey Rick, Hopefully, as you said, Obama will do something about this for you guys down there. I just overheard on the news, as I typed this, that for the first time Obama talked to our Prime Minister, hopefully they will talk about health care and both come up with something for we who have pre-existing conditions and are unable to get insurance in both countries. You sure are a great source of information on this subject and others to those on the discussion boards who live in the states. Good job. All the best Rick, Blueroses.

cboo1974's picture
cboo1974
Posts: 57
Joined: Oct 2008

Terato and blueroses thank you for the info. it was very helpful.
Cindy

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I live in Texas and they have a risk pool for Texans. They offer health insurance for people who have been declined private insurance and also not eligible for any other group insurance. The cost is a lot, however, because there is no employer to help pay the premium. They cover pre-existing conditions if continually insured.

Here is the site if you want to read about it:

www.txhealthpool.com

Maybe other states offer this.

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Marcia,

In 1987, the State of Illinois passed S.B. 1699 (Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan), offering similar coverage for the otherwise "uninsurable". "http://www.chip.state.il.us/downloads/broch1104.pdf" However, ICHIP was underfunded, has an incredibly long waiting list, and unaffordable premiums. It could have been an answer to a prayer, if our now incarcerated former ex-governor (Illinois has a lot of these!) had used Illinois' share of the tobacco settlement to fully fund ICHIP, but his road-building contractor buddies needed the State contract work he had promised in exchange for campaign contributions, so the State's uninsured just had to do without. Oh well, so what else is new, this IS Illinois.

Maybe the Texas plan is better?

Thanks very much for the info!

Rick

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

The Texas Health Pool covered me. It took less than a month to get approval. I had breast cancer in 2003 and diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2006 so insurance companies wouldn't touch me. The cost depends on which deductable you choose. Still rather expensive. They have a chart on the site explaining how much. There is also a list on the site of web addresses of where you can apply for help with paying for copays.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Hey Rick,
I, too, am a "proud" resident of the felonious governor's state and can vouch for the debacle that ICHIP became in short order. I worked for a family practice doc at the time and he never did get paid by the state for any of his services. He then signed up to do "access to care", which was set up for people who worked but were not offered insurance; He took on 50 patients and the state was going to reimburse him $5 a visit- never happened. He just decided to make it a charity service; nice man.
Here's hoping Pat Quinn can do a better job for the citizens of Illinois- God knows we can't get much worse.
Take care,
Hollyberry

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Holly,

I live in Chicago, so I have been cursed by the Unholy Trinity of Richie, Tod, and Rod! (One down, two to go?). I hear Richie wants to tax "breathing", since nothing else is left?

In addition to the $8 million in flu vaccine that Blago allowed to expire, it was reported this morning that Daley allowed another $1 million in other medications to expire or "disappear" from storage. "Chicago, the city that works, but only for the jerks"

Enjoy Illinois!

Rick

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the trial- do they have tapes of Jessie Jackson, Jr. making a deal with Elvis? I can't wait to see what happens next- of course, all we have to do is put on Leno or Good Morning America and we'll see what Rod or Drew Peterson do next. What's with these guys and publicity? Big shoulders has now turned into big mouths! What an embarrassment! Now all we need is for George Ryan to actually win that Nobel prize and I may even consider going to Indiana-lol.
Rick, please tell me it can't get much worse!
Take care,
Hol

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Holly,

Did you hear that the State Legislature plans to add * cents to our gas tax AND raise our state income tax? I guess they will want my right testicle next? YIKES!! Indiana isn't far enough away from this mess!

Illinois, the State of Confusion!

Hasta!

Rick

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Can you imagine our esteemed legislators having that conversation..."Let's see, record unemployment, home foreclosures through the roof; how are we gonna fund our pensions!?! I know, we'll raise the taxes on the rest of the citizens, get the press to bury the story in the business section and recess. It's been a tough session, eh boys?"
The nerve of these people just astounds me. I don't know how their thought processes really work but, what the f*#^ are they thinking!?! It would make for some good second city material, if it didn't hurt people so very badly.I sure hope Madigan, Cross and all the other crooks can find a better way to fund their pet projects or we'll all be taxed out of our homes.
I don't know about you, but I bought my house 8 years ago and my taxes started at 2 grand and this year I'm at 6,500; how do they justify that? I was working 2 jobs to pay the bills and they're in session, what, 9 months? And when I finally couldn't work anymore and had to apply for disability, I had to wait 6 months for a check.I certainly hope this next "stimulus package" is going to help the average American, and not wall street or the banks again.
Wow- that was quite a rant! Thanks for listening, I guess we've all had enough from our esteemed leaders lately. Here's hoping for better times soon.
Take care,
Hol

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