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Problems With Getting Any Financial Support....

dmarie1010's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2005

Hey guys and gals! My name is Dana and I'm 25 years old. I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer last July/August 2004. I've been receiving very, very expensive treatments and am currently getting Social Security disability income (which is not a whole lot to begin with) but am having to pay for expensive COBRA health insurance through my previous employer. I've been amazed at how little help I can get, such as receiving a medical card, to help with my life-saving treatments, just because of my age and that I don't have any kids or am not pregnant. I just wanted to know, I guess, that I'm not alone, and if anyone else has been able to find a program to help with bills and the cost of treatments (that I could be receiving for the rest of my life). Thanks, and sorry to vent, I'm just a frustrated gal..... Take care everyone!

srterrell's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2005

My name is Rae and I'm 34 years old. and was diagnosed with lung cancer at 33 years old in April 2004. I never smoked, nor did I live with smokers. I had 2/3 of my right lung and many lymph nodes removed. Since then, I am in the same situation that you are - receiving SSD, with no medical coverage, and barely able to pay my basic living expenses. I too am childless and unmarried. The state of Nevada does not offer any assistance to people in my situation. However, I would have coverage if I was unmarried and had children. This is crazy because if you are trying to survive cancer and will not be approved for Medicare until you have been on SSD for 2 years, the government is basically saying, "Well, if you're not dead in 2 years, we'll help you out." I have done everything that I can to remedy this situation, but no luck so far. The medical bills are piling up and I can't pay them. The excellent credit rating that I had before I was diagnosed is gone, which makes it hard to get anything - including housing. If I discover a way to get around this nonsense, I'll definitely post whatever I find out.

tiggertoo's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2003

Have you tried contacting the pharmacutial companies that make the meds? I see ads on tv and worked in a med office for a while and we hooked people up for diabetic supplies, etc...Don't know if this would work, but it couldn't hurt. Ask your pharmacist if they know of any programs, addresses of co. or if the pharmacy could help you. All they can do is say no...also you should check with organizations that are specifically targeted to you cancer. Some provide financial aid like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society who provides $500 in Financial Aid for travel to tmt or meds. It is given for a one yr period July - June; no requirments; for as long as the $$ is there. Perhaps the Komen foundation, etc might have a similar program. Look online and you may find something. You should go to this site and see if it can help! All the best to you! Blessings, love Tigger http://www.cancerlinksusa.com/financial_aid.htm

SAba2005's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi my name is Sarah and I am the caregiver for my husband Billy. He was diagnosed in March 2005 with CML. We too are having problems trying to get some help. We don't have any insurance to help with the meds or med bills. We have been trying to get him on medicaid since March and we keep getting told that even with 2 children and the 2 of us in the home with 1 income, that we do not qualify for full medicaid coverage. They say that we have to pay out over $4,000 before medicaid will pick up for 6mths. The only help that we have gotten so far is for the medication that he has to take every day for the cancer and we got it through patience assistance program. Problem with that is if he does get medicaid then PAP will stop furnishing the medicine that he needs. The drug stores around our home will not order this medication unless it is prepaid and we cannot even afford to do that. As it is now we are still trying to hold onto everything that we own and keep a roof over our heads. We have applied for disability and denied the first time. We appealed it in October 2005. I have tried everything to get some extra help and the only alternative is to go on public assistance completely. Which means if I quit working then I can get the help that my husband needs. I don't see that as an option yet. So if anyone out there can give us some advice please feel free to email us at short_stuff_054@yahoo.com. We are desperatley running out of options and have nowhere to turn. tiggertoo I will check out the web site that you have suggested. Thanks and best of luck to you, Sarah

rthornton's picture
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

Hi. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, at age 35, a few weeks ago. At the time, I was working part time and going to graduate school, so my health insurance (through my part time job) was very, very, very limited. That ran out quickly! Then I applied for disability and I am getting monthly SSI checks for less than $600. I also managed to get Medicaid (which was through a state program here in GA) to help with medical costs. The frustrating part is that I would LOVE to work again, and have more money to live on, but if I go back to work then I will lose the Medicaid and no private insurance will take my pre-existing condition. My thinking at this point is just to get the treatment and then worry about the costs later. But once I recover from this disease, I want to become an advocate for uninsured/underinsured people, especially with progressive diseases. I have found "the system" to be quite slow, and cancer patients don't have time to wait around!

Anyway, my only point in telling this whole story is to let you know that you are definitely not alone. Also, I would love to know if you find any solutions, and I can share tips with you.


Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2003

Dana... I feel your frustration! I've been going through chemo treatments for the past 2.5 years for leukemia (I'll be 26 next month) and have had very similar problems. I used all of my savings to pay for the first 10 months of hospital stays (using COBRA, which is extremely expensive when you can't work to bring in any money). Then I applied for disability and becuase I applied late (didn't know anything about it!?!?!) I am only getting SSDI for 5 months out of 2.5 years. I've started working part-time recently so they stopped my SSI. I just met with my caseworker this morning because as of September 1st I will no longer be considered 'disabled,' but I will still need to pay for bone marrow tests and blood tests for the next two years. Not only was my caseworker completely unhelpful - she was also short with me and a bit on the rude side. Like it was a chore for her to have to meet with me. My issue is that most insurances won't cover me because of their 'preexisting conditions' clause and if I start working full-time - I won't be eligible for any help SSI, MA, ETC. And it was the same problem - because I'm single without kids - there's nothing for me. The system is not set up for people in our situation and because our legislators all have a platinum health benefit package they have no idea that some people actually can't afford to buy life sustaining medication or visit their doctors. Unfortunately, the only advice I can give (which I need to listen to myself) is to contact your representatives and keep health care in mind during the next election. Good luck and keep your chin up.

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