Discussion Forums - Caregivers' Forum Caregivers' Forum

Topic: health care cost

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: health care cost
Date Posted: 1/9/2009 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2006
Posts: 125
Back To Top

What does one do when one make too much for assistance, but not enough to go to the doctor, buy medicines or get nurse/nursing home care???


I have some family and friends in these situations and I  feel helpless. I work and travel a lot , and live a distance away from them, so I can't help as much as I'd like to with care and can't support their medical needs financially.

Subject: Re: Health Care Cost
Date Posted: 2/15/2009 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2008
Posts: 6
Back To Top

Thre should be some doctors offices that go by your income or lack of it , to set what you pay per visit on what is called sliding scale. Our primary  doctor does this. Also my husbands' heart doctors' office gives him a discount.  Be up front with all your  doctors about your money situation, you'll be suprised what you can work out. Also you can contact the drug companies to find out how to qualify for free medicine, they send it to your doctor for you to pick up or the doctors can give you samples The heart doctor gives my hubby  a 3 month supply of Lipator when we couldn't afford it.. And of course Wal-Mart, Walgreens and several other drug stores have about 100 different  $4.00 generic drugs, ask the doctor about generic versions of your drug. As for nursing homes or home health care, I can't help much there except to ask social services,they should have some resources for you to contect for help in this area. There's help out there, you just got to ask  and keep on asking till you find it.

Last Edited on: 2/15/09 7:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/17/2009 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 39
Back To Top

Diane speaking from experience of my own, I will agree with Rhonda. Many hospitals and doctors will set fees according to a sliding scale. If you find that you cannot pay here is a tip.....almost every community in the country has some form of a community action program. They are NOT a government run public assistance office. They can help the family pay the bills by means of private funds donated by charities and private citizens. Most of these agencies will stop at nothing to help a family truly in need, even if it means paying a families utility bill so that the family can use their own cash to pay a doctor.

ONE EXCEPTION to this.....IF the patient has been diagnosed with an illness that requires "life sustaining medication" federal law and some state laws say that the assistance office MUST give that patient coverage REGARDLESS of income. In cases more specific to Autism, I know in Pennsylvania that once the child is diagnosed (usually at no cost regardless of income by county mental health serivces) the assistance office will automaticly give the patient coverage. Sometimes the coverages can be contingent upon the persons disability. The assistance office can require the person to apply for Social Secuirty benefits as part of the eligibility requirement. (the person need not be approved for S.Security to keep their coverage, at least here in PA)

To add to that, it is often well worth a families time to apply for benefits through S. Security. Approval is NOT based on income, however some payments awarded ARE based on income and assets. The one MAIN thing social security WILL do for the patient is give them AUTOMATIC coverage via medicare or medicaid.

If its something specific, PM me, and I would be happy to try and help you by looking online for info for you. I've been there done that a few times now and I love to help others because I KNOW what it is to go through it. When it comes to a SPECIFIC mental health disorder, almost ALL of them end up winning their social security claim in the end, and almost all of the patients NEED medication (or special services) to function in life.

Let me know if I can be of any help. I wish you luck!