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#147382 - 03/21/12 01:46 AM Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental????
CherylR Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Registered: 01/08/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Indiana
DH is on Medicare now since 7/2011. Is now having some issues that need to be looked into. Bottom line is we're broke. Have cashed in all retirement, pensions, etc and filed bankruptcy. I've attempted search to find assistance or policy to help with co-pays, etc. Particularly concerned about scans and costs since I don't see where Medicare pays any of that. How does one continue to get treatment? Thanks for any info.
_________________________
CG to H with SCC BOT T4N2cM0 dx 12/19/08, teeth removed pre-tx; Erbitux & RT-done 3/12/09, PEG 2/9/09-7/14/09; ND 6/16. Pet 6/12-no mets except lymph node in neck removed on 6/16. Chyle leak,2nd surg to repair. Dilate esophagus 4/15/10. Clear PET 12/17/10

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#147390 - 03/21/12 01:55 PM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: CherylR]
Anne-Marie Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 2596
Loc: TN
CherylR - I'm sot sure if this would help, but you can find out what Medicare pays by calling the number on the Medicare card and you might have a better idea. It is better if you can get any of the code numbers from your doctors office's on the procedures involved - that way Medicare can look them up and tell you exactly what they pay. (When I called, I found out they paid 80%) If you have a supplemental insurance in addition to Medicare, sometimes they pay what Medicare does not pay. What about SS Disability? From reading others' posts on this it seems you can apply online very easily. When my son was in Tx, with no insurance, and no job, facing bankruptcy, and I was struggling to pay what I could, the drug company decided he qualified for free meds. Also the hospital told us we could pay as little as $5.00 a month on their bill. I don't know if any of this helps, but I do hope you can find some relief from all these concerns. It's tough enough just getting through the physical and emotional side of surviving without having to deal with the astronomical costs. You CAN get through this! My son did and he is doing better than ever, now. I noticed on your signature, there was a Clear PET scan from 12/17/10 and that sounds like really good news! Keep in touch and let us know what is happening.
_________________________
Anne-Marie
CG to son, Paul (age 33, non-smoker) SCC Stage 2, Surgery 9/21/06, 1/6 tongue Rt.side removed, +48 lymph nodes neck. IMRTx28 completed 12/19/06. CT scan 7/8/10 Cancer-free! ("spot" on lung from scar tissue related to Pneumonia.)




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#147391 - 03/21/12 02:12 PM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: Anne-Marie]
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8398
Loc: PA
Go directly to the sources. Write a letter to every single doctor and treatment center. Sometimes you will get help just by asking. If you dont ask, you dont get so dont be ashamed to ask for help.

At the hospital where I am treated they have their own internal program. I reapply every few months as the discount is usually only good for 4 or 5 months at a time. You fill out a detailed form listing your income and attaching proof. They also ask for your expenditures and they will figure out a formula. Ive been lucky enough to get a large percentage off my hospital bills. This discount card is not for cosmetic procedures like reconstruction, but my doc wrote my reconstruction was medically necessary so I did get a big discount. He also waived all his charges for me. This also applies for the co-pays on all tests and doctor visits too. My discount varies but usually runs for 91% - 100% off which is applied to my co-pay. This helps greatly as every other month its over $5,000 when I get my feeding tube changed.

Alot of doctors will give help when one of their regular patients needs it. I went without insurance for about 6 months as I couldnt afford $700 a month for Cobra. MY ENT knew the situation and would waive his charges for the 6 months I waited for medicare to kick in. I didnt ask him for a discount. My ENT never said one word to me about it, he would just always write $0.00 in the amount owed area of the treatment page.

Hope you have good luck like I have with asking for help. Dont even think twice about feeling bad about this. The economy has put alot of us into this position. I have talked with many people about the hospital discount programs. Seems like most large facilities have it but they dont advertise it, so you have to ask.
_________________________
Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile

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#147394 - 03/21/12 03:37 PM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: ChristineB]
Maria Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 873
Loc: Ohio
A friend who is a testicular cancer survivor can't get affordable insurance because of it. He always negotiates fees with the hospital down to at least the insurance company rate for his scans and other followup as he doesn't qualify for discounts based on income. I suspect a lot of negotiation like this goes on, but, as Christine says, you do need to ask.


Edited by Maria (03/21/12 03:37 PM)
_________________________
CG to husband - SCC Tonsil T1N2M0 HPV+ Never Smoker
First symptoms 7/2010, DX 12/2010
TX 40 IRMT (1.8 gy) + 10 Cetuximab
PET Scans 6/2011 + 3/2012 clear, 06/2014 physical exam clear; chest CT's clear of cancer. On thyroid pills. Saliva slowly returning. Life is good.

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#147395 - 03/21/12 03:58 PM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: Maria]
CherylR Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Registered: 01/08/09
Posts: 216
Loc: Indiana
Thanks gals, that gives me a place to start. I haven't had time to research much as I'm always on the fly these days. Two family members on hospice, two kids living with us with disabilities. I quit working part time about a month ago because I was just too tired to keep up with everything. I've looked at insurance polices and they are too high. We have SSD and LTD from former employer. One child is now on SSI. Too many irons in the fire and my brain is truly on overload. Will do some more checking and if anyone else has ideas...let me know. Thank you, thank you.
_________________________
CG to H with SCC BOT T4N2cM0 dx 12/19/08, teeth removed pre-tx; Erbitux & RT-done 3/12/09, PEG 2/9/09-7/14/09; ND 6/16. Pet 6/12-no mets except lymph node in neck removed on 6/16. Chyle leak,2nd surg to repair. Dilate esophagus 4/15/10. Clear PET 12/17/10

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#147404 - 03/21/12 10:15 PM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: CherylR]
Maria Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 873
Loc: Ohio
Hi, Cheryl -
the American Cancer Society site also has some resources and suggestions - in particular, getting a referral to a social worker specializing in oncology. God bless you for all of your care giving. I hope that your weather is as nice in Indiana as it is in Ohio today - and that you can get a breather in the fresh, spring air. I wish we had a flower icon so I could send some virtual daffodils.
Maria


Edited by Maria (03/21/12 10:19 PM)
_________________________
CG to husband - SCC Tonsil T1N2M0 HPV+ Never Smoker
First symptoms 7/2010, DX 12/2010
TX 40 IRMT (1.8 gy) + 10 Cetuximab
PET Scans 6/2011 + 3/2012 clear, 06/2014 physical exam clear; chest CT's clear of cancer. On thyroid pills. Saliva slowly returning. Life is good.

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#147406 - 03/22/12 12:37 AM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: Maria]
Cathi Carpenter Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 79
Loc: Aurora, CO
Cheryl, I just got Medicare as of 1/1/12. And I signed up for AARP MedicareComplete Secure Horizons Plan 2 which has a $0 monthly premium. It's through United Healthcare. Call them and ask for one of their Medicare Solutions Sales Reps. This helps fill some of the gap between Medicare but not all. I like the free part as I can't afford the $250 monthly premium to be insured 100%.

Good luck!

Cathi
_________________________
57 when diagnosed. Heavy smoker. Social drinker. Diagnosed 7/9/09 with tonsil, tongue & neck cancer. Chemo induction (Cisplatin, 5FU & Taxotere) & 35 radiation tx + 7 Carboplatin.
Head and neck CAT scan on 1/15/10 shows no cancer.
1/27/12 First PET/CAT scans in 2 years - All clear!!

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#147407 - 03/22/12 01:07 AM Re: Medicare/Medigap/Supplemental???? [Re: Cathi Carpenter]
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8398
Loc: PA
Cheryl, here is a list from the main OCF pages. Its all different types of financial assistance for cancer patients. Hope some of this will help you.

Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients
_________________________
Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile

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