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How do you pay for medical bills?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by RedLineBoy, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. RedLineBoy

    RedLineBoy

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    Do you all have free government health insurance or something? Every time I go to a doc I'm hit with couple hundred dollars in bills. I can not afford that. How is everyone managing bills?
     
  2. prioris

    prioris

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    I do have medicare but have only used it for a few chiropractor visits. Medicare is useless to me unless I have some accident involving cuts, broken bones and bruises.

    I am my own doctor and have gone the all natural route. Virtually no medications for all the years I have had it.

    I have to pay for my supplements etc which probably cost me about $1000 per year. No driving to the doctor.

    My advice is to people is to ween themselves off synthetic medications and doctors if they can since they are harmful to the body in the long run and usually don't address what is actually wrong.

    I realize it is not easy for some people and there is a learning curve but if one is young they should or they will get damaged. It will probably be the best decision you will make.
     
    SickOfSickness and GracieJ like this.
  3. Gypsy

    Gypsy Senior Member

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    No. Many or most have no job, no health insurance, and are financially destitute to the point where they can not even afford to see a doctor anymore.

    I have heard of people spending over $200,000 out of pocket, not even including insurance deductibles and co pays, to try to treat their illness and/or find the causes. For some people, it pays off, and they find the causes and get better.

    Other people spend all their money trying to get better, and still are quite ill. I don't know what happens after that.

    Sad reality of chronic illness.
     
    merylg and SickOfSickness like this.
  4. prioris

    prioris

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    I do keep antibiotics on hand for emergencies and experimentation etc. I buy them from pet place on line. Cost less than 1/10 the cost of a pharmacy. I always take bromelaine with any antibiotic.
     
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  5. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Health insurance?? What is that?? A dream. I have been lucky to have food most of these past years.

    Tongue-in-cheek, of course. I have no retirement either. Every extra dime has gone to medicine, mostly herbal medicine and good supplements. The few times I had health insurance, it was like flushing money. Catastrophic only, and paid double to have it and then go to the health food store.

    I do hear you on the monthly out-of-pocket. That was part of the death knell of a second marriage - he could not believe I needed AT LEAST $300 of medicine monthly. Half that at the time was physician-prescribed bio identicals, but he just never would believe me overall.

    In short: No cash = not seeing a doctor, even when needed.
     
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I think often of how fortunate I am to live in Canada. We pay for my supplements and "alternative" health stuff, but my doctors visits, specialists, tests, etc. have all been fully paid for by the government (except for a few "fringe" tests I've chosen to have done). As it is, we've spent a fortune. I can't imagine trying to fund all of the other doctor's bills on top of that, or having had to choose not to have some of the basic tests done for financial reasons. Much sympathy.
     
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    Who of us can afford that? I can only afford the extras only on the health insurance and certainly get my money back 3 times, due to all the things I use it for. One year I needed an ambulance about 4 times, fortunately my health insurance covered it

    Being on a disability pension, I have to rely on health care card and medicare, those things thou dont cover many of the things I need so I pay out of my pocket more for medical then I do pay for house rent. It leaves me with finanical issues and often not being able to afford things I medically do really need. Im often saving up for 8+mths to get something I medically need or even saving up to go and see a CFS specialists as many of them arent fully covered by my pension card and medicare and one has to pay a big gap eg $160 for one visit.

    I get just over $300-350? per week on a disability pension and last month I paid out over $400 for a lyme test (in the 17 years since Ive had this illness, I'd never been tested for lyme thou Im a perfect match with symptoms). This month Im paying for 23&ME testing and hair testing to see if Ive managed to correct some deficiencies I had.. so all up $230 there on top of all what I pay for supplements my specialists have me on along with meds (some prescription meds arent covered by medicare/health care card). I spend heaps of money just to keep my health like it is (without the things I need to take its worst).
     
  8. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    In October, I will start shopping for a basic insurance plan to meet the upcoming mandates.

    Guess I kiss grocery money good-bye.
     
  9. searcher

    searcher

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    GracieJ - Have you looked at the subsidies for health insurance that will start along with the mandates? Most of us will get free or close-to-free health insurance, assuming we aren't working. And with medicaid expansion many people will get access to medicaid who weren't previously eligible.
    http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/ has the subsidy calculator. A single person earning $12000 a year, for example, could get a bronze plan for free or a silver plan (with much more coverage) for $240 a year. At least from my perspective most people with chronic illness will benefit.
     
    madietodd likes this.
  10. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    searcher Doing all the research needed. I am back at work, and so far, the irony is I make too much to qualify for help in many areas. It is an odd world. I will be meeting with an advisor to find the best path through it. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Also, my employer offers health insurance for every-day things, which is absolutely useless to me, but disqualifies me as well. Any way around, I hear my money swooshing away down the drain. Let's hope something reasonable surfaces.

    Whether or not Utah expands Medicaid will not be decided until Jan 2014, and the state may opt out. Leaning that way.
     
  11. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I am drowning in copays.
     
  12. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Same for me and I pay what I can and I apologize to the people when they call and I have still been blessed out. Others have been very understanding.

    None of us could have forseen this or what was to come. If you are trying your best then there is nothing to feel bad about.
     
  13. RedLineBoy

    RedLineBoy

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    Yea 2014 everyone needs to have health insurance or pay fine on federal tax return.
     
  14. searcher

    searcher

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    GracieJ - Oh, I'm really sorry that you are in that situation. I have been working but since I'm self-employed I'll benefit, but you're completely right that it is tougher since your employer offers bad insurance. I will need to look more into the law to understand what happens in that situation. I hope Utah opts in... Also hopefully there will be a cheap catastrophic coverage option.

    I hope the advisor helps.
     
  15. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    searcher Since I may not get the breaks, I am looking at HSAs. Have wanted one for years. It may not get used for health care much, but in the end I would instead have some investment returns toward retirement. Plenty of hoops to jump through with that one when age 65 comes, but I think it will be a good way to go.

    Cheap catastrophic would be perfect! Will research.
     
  16. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Or buy cheap insurance you will never use at all to avoid the higher penalties. Money flush and useless.

    I do wish I could get a series of lab panels now I understand more what to ask the doc for. The kind of insurance I would need to cover those would be rather expensive. Oh, well. Life goes on. Maybe someday I will be rich enough to just get the tests ordered - or down the road an HSA will have accrued enough to do more.
     
  17. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I'm not in the USA. I see a private CFS doctor when I can afford to (like once a year) and then buy drugs on line from Indian type pharmacies. I ration myself each month and try and buy only the drugs and supplements that I really need and can afford. It's only the basics and I can't afford to buy all the drugs I am prescribed.

    Every year I try and save up for one test or a useful investigation in one area.

    Sometimes someone will give me money for a test or as a present. Example of that would be the kind family member who gave me the 23 and me test as a Xmas present.

    When I was lucky enough to work I spent far too much money on drugs, doctors and alternative therapy. The later being a huge waste of my time and money.
     

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