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Anyone know of COBRA assistance available?

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2000
Joined: Aug 2011

Hello everyone. Big hugs and warm wishes coming your way.

I've been researching and haven't come up with much so
I thought I'd toss it out here for responses.

I am not able to return to work yet and though my company has
been more generous than most (my insurance at the employee price
was extended a year past the date my disability started), I will
be looking at paying COBRA in about 5-6 months. As you all know,
this is expensive (going to be about the same as my mortgage).

Are any of you aware of any programs, etc. that provide assistance
to someone in making their COBRA premiums? My research brings up
plenty of links to the government assitance that was provided to
people who lost their jobs, etc. in 2010. Though that was extended,
it's not available now to my knowledge.

I did discuss with my social worker and he suggested I talk with the
financial services group at the cancer center which I haven't done yet.
I won't be eligible for Medicare, etc until Sep 2013 should I still be
unable to work.

Thanks in advance for your responses.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)
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scuttlebug11's picture
scuttlebug11
Posts: 175
Joined: Jun 2011

the only thing i know is to apply for dissabilty, thats the only way i could recieve any help, thats why i contiuned to wirk as long as i could and try not to think about it untill i had to. Now i am on long term dissability, it does get boring sometimes but you do what you have to. blessings denise

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 585
Joined: Jun 2010

Jim,

Sorry to hear that you have to try to untangle the insurance web! I'm in a similar situation. My long term ins. company is helping me with the Social Security Disability application and eventual appeal. (60% are declined)It is for their benefit as well- if I get SS disability the long term ins co only pays the difference!

I also have heard that regardless of age once you get the SS disability you are eligible for Medicare. I haven't even researched that part yet but thought I would throw it out there. I heard about this from a neighbor who was on it a couple of years ago and she is only in her 40's. She said it is a well guarded secret and was the best thing for her ever. She took part A & B and had a small supplemental policy and was all set. It sounds too good to be true doesn't it??

My work insurance will last for about a year and then I will be trying to figure out what to do as well. Cobra is so expensive I sure hope we can find an alternative.

If I hear more I'll let you know. All the best my friend.

Love ya,
Donna

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2000
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks Denise and Donna!

Knowing my disability insurance from work required me to file for social security,
I did that early on and was approved. Yep, the disability insurance is paying
the difference - which amounts to 60% of what I was earning while employed.
From what I read at the social security website, if you're under 65 years and
are on disability, you won't automatically receive medicare until after 24 months
of continuous disability. (There are some exceptions - Lou Gehrig's disease,
and permanent end stage renal failure I think).

I did do some further research last night and learned in some circumstances, you can
get medicare by paying premiums for it (which is probably less than the COBRA) but
I haven't fully researched it. Yep, it's a whole new world of things to sort out
as if I don't have enough of that going on ;).

It's a "catch 22" situation. My income is too high to qualify for many programs, yet
paying for the COBRA is going to just about put me at a level where I would.
I'll keep digging.

Thanks again for your responses. Keep them coming..

Hugs,

Jim

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Jim,
It seems as though so many things are catch 22's anymore. I have not had to go down that road yet. I was retired when I was diagnosed so a lot of the red tape was avoided. The trick is knowing how to get around all that crap. Like you said,keep digging and an answer will come up.John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3162
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Jim,
I went on long term permanent disability back in 2002 when I retired from my job. I was born with Klippel Feil Syndrome and as my neck and spine started to give me more problems, my employer told me to retire and said they would back me 100% in my disability request. I'd worked 33 years by then and it was just time to give my back, neck and spine a break. Anyways...it took me 18 mo's to get my disability and instead of going on medicare, I opted to switch over to my husbands insurance. Next year(May 2013) when he turns 66 and retires, I'll switch to medicare advantage along with a supplement plan. The process to get disability can be tedious at times, but well worth it in the end. I had a lawyer do everything for me and paid him 20% when my settlement finally came through. I hope you find a way to make this work out in your favor. Take care and good luck....Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

anliperez915's picture
anliperez915
Posts: 747
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Jim, I wasn't working when I got diagnosed and since my husband's work wasn't providing insurance for him the only solution for me was to get on disability, I also got approved for medicare. For me I got approved in less than a month but I know that sometimes people don't get the assistance for a long time. I hope you find the best possible solution for you! Take care buddy.

Sincerely,
Liz

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