My Mom Has No Insurance

My Mom is 63 and has no insurance. Medicare starts in 1.4 years from now.

She has been in the hospital for 1 week and completed her surgery 2 days ago which was major.

Ovaries obibum appendix spleen uterus piece of small intestine al removed.
She is stage 4 as cancer is also in trace areas of lymph system and there is fluid in lungs.

She will start chemo in about 2

between social security and pension she makes $1500 a month.

She has no insurance and the hospital wanted to see her pension and as paperwork as well as a verification of rent form when she was admitted.

The hospital did perform the surgery but it terms of repayment where do we go from here?

My mom has no money to pay a 200,000 bill in the end

Any tips suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated.


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You should look into Charity Care at the hospital. They have social workers who can answer all your questions about how to apply.

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Your mom, or whoever has medical power of attorney, should have a patient advocate assigned by the hospital. This person helps with lessening the burden of worrying about finances. The oncology group my doctor belongs to also has a patient advocate to help navigate financial issues. There is no cost for these services, and one probably wouldn't know to ask for this assistance under normal circumstances.

There are several websites that may help. Be careful about which ones you provide information to, as some are not legitimate. This website has a list of help:

This one is from the American Cancer Society: nceissues/healthinsuranceandfinancialassistanceforthecancerpatient/health-i nsurance-and-financial-assistance-toc

The Social Security website has a page with several tabs that may apply to your mom: ng-costs.html

I think somewhere I read that patients with Stage 4 cancer are fast tracked on medicare. Maybe others will chime in and advise. No harm in asking. I have only read positive feedback on Inspire from those of us who have had to deal with social security benefits and cancer. You might try contacting your local SS office for help. Be sure to tell them your mom's stage.

Sorry with everything else you must deal with this worry. Please come back and ask anything and know we're here because we've either helped someone or been through 'it' ourselves.

Turtle Hugs

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She can apply for social security disability benefits immediately. A stage 4 diagnosis should qualify her for it, if she meets the requirements for the number of quarters of prior work, etc.

I agree with the others -- the hospital should have a social worker who can help her find out what assistance she can qualify for. Also, I would call the American Cancer Society (1-800-227-2345). They will put you in touch with a local "Patient Navigator" who knows all the ins and outs of applying for assistance, and will know about local resources as well as national organizations that help.

Best of luck to her!

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Did the hospital talk about Medicaid? The hospital should help you sign up.

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Income may be too high for medicaid, not sure. Also check with your health department. They may know of programs through their cancer services programs. The bills should be negotiable as well. I have had nine treatments and surgery and my bills before insurance writeoffs were no where near $200k for nine months. Stage IV definitely fast tracked for SSDI. There is help. Best to you and your mom.

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She said she is already getting social security. Would SSDI be better? As I understand it, SSDI would not be more than a regular social security benefit. Sorry I don't have any real help to offer.

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If see has not had insurance in 6 months she can contact PCIP. (Obama Care) it is a little pricey but great insurance. NYs PCIP may go on income TX does not. She may qualify for disability Social Security which will give her more money than SS at age 63. The same thing happened to me. I went on long term disability. Was waiting on the six month waiting period for PCIP and was dx six weeks before I qualified. I did get standard care until I had ins. Including three CT scans, three rounds of chemo etc. Good luck and so sorry you are both going through this

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Have your mom request financial aid forms from the hospital. Most hospitals have this service, but do not volunteer that information. They may end up writing off a good portion of her bill.

Also, if she wants your assistance, have her add you to her records as authorized to discuss her health and care.

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My partner went to the "county" hospital. Many hospital attached to a medical school have a lot of financial assistance programs. Many are based on income, but they will also help you navigate SS, Medicaid, etc.

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Yeah...not sure where she lives....but I'm here in Texas...being in the same situation and being here alone with no family and 'just realized pretend friends'....I filed for bankruptcy thrpugh a compassionate and understanding attorney. He told me there was no reason for me to have this heavy burden on me and would be an honor to wipe this thing off my fianancial map!

Praise G-d...I let it happen. I figure in this condition, who knows what can happen and what can they do anyway? By a blessing, a nurse who knew of my situation went thru her medical channels of friends about went past the ears of a OB/ONC Specialist...which in turn she contacted MDAnderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. I applied and even more burdens lifted. They have at this hospital programs for the uninsured. I've not paid a cent for care....and the most I pay for meds is a whopping $5!!

People from all over the world go there! Check it out.
Will be praying G-d leads you..... :)

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Terribly sick over your situation...but hey take courage! I thought there was no hope but I stretched my faith to the max and asked G-d to help me to find a way to fund my help. I applied for social security online, stressed to them at my appointment that this is no joke and I need help NOW!

Well, they approved my application some time afterwards and they even back paid me a year plus I get monthly benefits. An attorney told me that they are suppose to back pay you fromthe time of diagnosis 'IF' you have a recurrence within three years! The idea never were in remission if it came back within three years.

So you can see, I still am going to fight for that OTHER year they didn't pay me. Technical stuff so I think a good attorney is in order. NEVER GIVE UP!

The $$ I received from the back pay...was a blessing....I bought so many supplements to fund an army! Plus I am taking a trip out of state to a Doctor of Natropath who may know a thing or two about 'natural herbs' to help me in this.

All these chemicals is NOT what I want for my body!
My mantra? If I die, I die WHOLE...but not by means of man's manmade chemicals which are foreign to our bodies and cause all sorts of havoc.

Will be in prayer for you...but sounds like all you have to do is apply my should be approved in no time. If you need help, any attorney will be happy to jump on your case immediately...they know there gonna get a cut!

Personally, I would try applying on yoour own FIRST, heck why pay an attorney 6-7k to help you apply when you can do it and keep that NEEDED cash?

Sounds like you're on 'easy street' to me. Much Luck! :)

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Hi, I am a health insurance advocate. I have worked with many cancer patients with similar problems.
Here is a general overview of how this works:
*The hospital wants to get paid - so they first look to see if the patient can qualify for MediCaid. That is why they wanted the info about the rent.
*If she can't quality initially for MediCaid - they will look into local county aid programs. In some areas these are called Medical Services for the Indigent.
The above steps will normally always be done by the hospital social worker. It is in there interest if they want to get paid.
*If this didn't happen, the patient would then have a hugh bill - as you mentioned.
*In that case, you could use the bill - after the fact - to re apply for MediCaid if they refused because the income was too high the first time.
*Timing is important, MediCaid can go back 3 months to pay old bills. That is, 3 months from the date of application. So, it is really important to apply.
If the situation is not yet resolved, please contact me.

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