Financial Aid

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HOw do patients keep up with bills while undergoing treatment? I had extensive mouth surgery at the beginning of March and 4 weeks later started 7 1/2 weeks of chemoand radiation treatments. All this time I was not paid and it does not look like I can return to work soon. I get medical bills every day along with doctor visits co-pays and prescriptions on top of regular bills like rent, utilities, etc, How can people keep up? We are supposed to remain positive bit it is depressing when evictions loom.

Comments

  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    Hi Bruce

    You  are not alone with these problems.  At least where I am treated, there are great social services available rwith an office right in the chemotherapy unit.  They have been very helpful to us through my many treatments.  There is a lot of financial aid available, though the exact programs change all the time.  Thiss one worker, assigned to us cancer patients, has been a great help in keeping up with them.  And in suggesting thatmy outstanding bills will eventually be written off by the hospital upon proof of financial hardship.  Also, your state may have laws regarding eviction during health crisis.  I'd check into that asap. 

    Keep your eye on your priorities.  This other is pretty overwhelming, but you can only do so much about it, and it will all shake out eventually.  The treatment, that's where you have to keep on keepin on......

     

    bests to you

     

    Pat

     

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    Hi Bruce

    You  are not alone with these problems.  At least where I am treated, there are great social services available rwith an office right in the chemotherapy unit.  They have been very helpful to us through my many treatments.  There is a lot of financial aid available, though the exact programs change all the time.  Thiss one worker, assigned to us cancer patients, has been a great help in keeping up with them.  And in suggesting thatmy outstanding bills will eventually be written off by the hospital upon proof of financial hardship.  Also, your state may have laws regarding eviction during health crisis.  I'd check into that asap. 

    Keep your eye on your priorities.  This other is pretty overwhelming, but you can only do so much about it, and it will all shake out eventually.  The treatment, that's where you have to keep on keepin on......

     

    bests to you

     

    Pat

     

    Bruce

    Seems like medical bills hit my mailbox daily. I have insurance but get rejections because things weren't preauthorized or filed wrong and I have to battle them out, fortunately resolving most. I go into orbit when I open a denial for $20,000 or $80,000. Don't need this on top of medical issues. Mine is mostly frustration and time involved but I often think of those that don't have coverage and how difficult that must be. You may very well be able to qualify for social security disability and maybe medicare/medicaid. I know it has to be overwhelming. Ask for assistance from your hospital to help you with options.

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    bruce, many hospitals will

    bruce, many hospitals will write your portion of the bills off.  just talk to a financial aid person and they will give you the form to fill out.  also, docs will let you make payments on their copays.  it does get very expensive but there are options for help out there.  don't get too discouraged, it will turn out ok.  focus on getting better and the rest will fall into place.  praying for you.

    God bless you,

    dj

  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
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    Fighting with everyone!

    While I was trying to fight cancer and fight my way through treatments, I had to fight to get help, too.  We have NO insurance due to being self employed and I had to apply for medicaid FOUR times!!!  I had to fight them for over 7 months just to get the one year of coverage they gave me.  I had to make calls, show up in person, work with the social worker at the hospital and keep on top of them.  It was frustrating, stressful and annoying, but it worked. There ARE programs out there and you have to work a ton to get them...but it works! Best of luck to you!

  • catfish_58
    catfish_58 Member Posts: 138 Member
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    Bills"

    I know this is tough,I was lucky the first round I had because I had short term disability at my work,Did wonders for me plus I had just gotten my income tax return too.But now I too am fixing to find out about this issue for bills,I had just found out mine  has returned and will be doing all the test over again and possibly do the rads and chemo too.I have recently changed jobs around 3 mos. ago and while they have short term disability that I am paying for,It is  not available until 1 year after I have signed up for it,Plus I have to be cancer free for one year too.But I was told to call the american cancer society and they can help a little with gas expenses,plus my hospital has a Social Services to help you with these problems too,I also think you can sign up and get Social Security Disability.I would check your treatment center and ask for this social services,from my understanding they can help you with the paperwork for the social security disability.I soon am going to be checking in on as much as possible for this.Hope then i can give you an answer more favorable.Also may check the superthread at the begging of these articles may have something in there too.

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    Hi Bruce

    You  are not alone with these problems.  At least where I am treated, there are great social services available rwith an office right in the chemotherapy unit.  They have been very helpful to us through my many treatments.  There is a lot of financial aid available, though the exact programs change all the time.  Thiss one worker, assigned to us cancer patients, has been a great help in keeping up with them.  And in suggesting thatmy outstanding bills will eventually be written off by the hospital upon proof of financial hardship.  Also, your state may have laws regarding eviction during health crisis.  I'd check into that asap. 

    Keep your eye on your priorities.  This other is pretty overwhelming, but you can only do so much about it, and it will all shake out eventually.  The treatment, that's where you have to keep on keepin on......

     

    bests to you

     

    Pat

     

    Lots of good advice, I

    Lots of good advice, I appreciate it, have some work to do tomorrow!

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    bruce, many hospitals will

    bruce, many hospitals will write your portion of the bills off.  just talk to a financial aid person and they will give you the form to fill out.  also, docs will let you make payments on their copays.  it does get very expensive but there are options for help out there.  don't get too discouraged, it will turn out ok.  focus on getting better and the rest will fall into place.  praying for you.

    God bless you,

    dj

    I looked inot that and

    I looked inot that and applied. There is a stepson living here that is 27 and refuses to release his income. He also pays no rent, go figure

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    Fighting with everyone!

    While I was trying to fight cancer and fight my way through treatments, I had to fight to get help, too.  We have NO insurance due to being self employed and I had to apply for medicaid FOUR times!!!  I had to fight them for over 7 months just to get the one year of coverage they gave me.  I had to make calls, show up in person, work with the social worker at the hospital and keep on top of them.  It was frustrating, stressful and annoying, but it worked. There ARE programs out there and you have to work a ton to get them...but it works! Best of luck to you!

    They just changed social

    They just changed social workers, I should meet with the noew one, thanks

     

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    Bills"

    I know this is tough,I was lucky the first round I had because I had short term disability at my work,Did wonders for me plus I had just gotten my income tax return too.But now I too am fixing to find out about this issue for bills,I had just found out mine  has returned and will be doing all the test over again and possibly do the rads and chemo too.I have recently changed jobs around 3 mos. ago and while they have short term disability that I am paying for,It is  not available until 1 year after I have signed up for it,Plus I have to be cancer free for one year too.But I was told to call the american cancer society and they can help a little with gas expenses,plus my hospital has a Social Services to help you with these problems too,I also think you can sign up and get Social Security Disability.I would check your treatment center and ask for this social services,from my understanding they can help you with the paperwork for the social security disability.I soon am going to be checking in on as much as possible for this.Hope then i can give you an answer more favorable.Also may check the superthread at the begging of these articles may have something in there too.

    Someone else suggested the

    Someone else suggested the social worker, they just got a new one 2 weeks ago. I will need to talk to that person. I usually think of emotional issues when I hear social worker, I guess they have taken on more responsibilities!

     

  • donfoo
    donfoo Member Posts: 1,773 Member
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    sorry to hear

    All good suggestions to finding support and options. One thing for certain is to prioritize your available funds. If cash flow is an immediate issue and you are unable to tap liquid assets and you have reduced income, then what you want to do is look at what has the most urgency to get paid.

    Take the medical bills and throw them in the back for now. This stuff takes months and months to sort out even in the best of times. Since you mention eviction, this implies you are renting not owing. If you are an owner, then you can drag out a foreclsore for a very long time. If you rent, then you do need to let the landlord know what is going on as well as put the rent check toward the top of the pay pile. Call the utility companies and tell them what is goin on. They will adjust payments for some time, maybe even long term based on lower income levels. Any other creditors should allow you to make reduced payments.

    If you still have a shortfall, then focus on the important and critical challenge at hand. Survive cancer. If you get behind in payments do not harbor any negative feelings as it can put your mind and your body in a place not best suited to fight the Fight and recover as well as you can.

    Good luck,

    Don

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    donfoo said:

    sorry to hear

    All good suggestions to finding support and options. One thing for certain is to prioritize your available funds. If cash flow is an immediate issue and you are unable to tap liquid assets and you have reduced income, then what you want to do is look at what has the most urgency to get paid.

    Take the medical bills and throw them in the back for now. This stuff takes months and months to sort out even in the best of times. Since you mention eviction, this implies you are renting not owing. If you are an owner, then you can drag out a foreclsore for a very long time. If you rent, then you do need to let the landlord know what is going on as well as put the rent check toward the top of the pay pile. Call the utility companies and tell them what is goin on. They will adjust payments for some time, maybe even long term based on lower income levels. Any other creditors should allow you to make reduced payments.

    If you still have a shortfall, then focus on the important and critical challenge at hand. Survive cancer. If you get behind in payments do not harbor any negative feelings as it can put your mind and your body in a place not best suited to fight the Fight and recover as well as you can.

    Good luck,

    Don

    Thanks Don, Points well

    Thanks Don, Points well taken. The one aspect that is maintained through all these responses: Survive and thats what I intend to do!

    Thanks!

     

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    Thanks Don, Points well

    Thanks Don, Points well taken. The one aspect that is maintained through all these responses: Survive and thats what I intend to do!

    Thanks!

     

    Sorry

    Bruce, so sorry you have these worries in top of everything else. As a UK citizen I cant add to the advice above other than to wish you the Best. Gary.

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    Guzzle said:

    Sorry

    Bruce, so sorry you have these worries in top of everything else. As a UK citizen I cant add to the advice above other than to wish you the Best. Gary.

    Thanks Gary

    Thanks Gary

  • Tweety1480
    Tweety1480 Member Posts: 27
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    We have the same problem

    I am now making 23 payments a month to all the people and collection agencies that want more than we can pay.  There are no social programs that my husband qualifies for.  Nothing is free for him even though he's worked hard all his life and been a productive person.  He has Medicare and they don't pay for a lot of things which he has to have; they just deny it.  The hospital has been the worst for working with us on making payments for services rendered and continue to turn each bill over to a collection agency even though I am making a small payment every month.  I can't help but think if he was a lazy bum all his life he would have all the free medical care he needed.  It's frustrating.  We had to have our house refinanced to just be able to make these payments each month, and we're barely making it now even with that being done.  God be with you and make a way for you.

  • BruceGLarson
    BruceGLarson Member Posts: 22
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    We have the same problem

    I am now making 23 payments a month to all the people and collection agencies that want more than we can pay.  There are no social programs that my husband qualifies for.  Nothing is free for him even though he's worked hard all his life and been a productive person.  He has Medicare and they don't pay for a lot of things which he has to have; they just deny it.  The hospital has been the worst for working with us on making payments for services rendered and continue to turn each bill over to a collection agency even though I am making a small payment every month.  I can't help but think if he was a lazy bum all his life he would have all the free medical care he needed.  It's frustrating.  We had to have our house refinanced to just be able to make these payments each month, and we're barely making it now even with that being done.  God be with you and make a way for you.

    It's awful when we get sick

    It's awful when we get sick in the United States. If people in another country were dying because they could not afford and the government did not help, we would probably wage war against that counrty since it is no way to treat human beings. We are about to get evicted. Not a good thing to go through when a positive attitude is supposed to drive us.

  • catfish_58
    catfish_58 Member Posts: 138 Member
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    It's awful when we get sick

    It's awful when we get sick in the United States. If people in another country were dying because they could not afford and the government did not help, we would probably wage war against that counrty since it is no way to treat human beings. We are about to get evicted. Not a good thing to go through when a positive attitude is supposed to drive us.

    Financial woes

    I understand your dilemia Bruce,you may want to check into filing for a bankruptcy or at least seek advice from a lawyer,i'm not sure but i don't think you can be evicted if you file this status.I hate thinking of having to do this but it may be something to ponder if anything at least talk to a bankruptcy lawyer to even just get advise on this matter,Good Luck Chris