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mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1228
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   
PA Lady,
I keep thinking about you and what is going to happen to you in the coming weeks, with your health care and meds and all of that stuff, so I was looking through my many links to resources for people with spinal injuries and came across a couple of clearing houses for resources state by state and department by department.....a few may interest you.
I hope they help you in some fashion.
Sandi
 
 
 
 
 
 
http://www.dsf.health.state.pa.us/health/site/default.asp?healthRNavrad71C25=|#
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 4/10/2009 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
PA-
I was thinking about you tonight after watching a very frustrating report about how the Mortgage Assistance Program is not going to those in need at all, but to those who have more than enough income, haven't ever missed a payment & aren't in danger of doing so, and whose homes have barely declined in value at all. Millions of people have refinanced, but they are, almost without exception, the most well-off mortgagees there are.

I found myself wondering whether all these other assistance programs -- food stamps, weatherization, medical assistance -- won't end up also being revealed as not reaching those who need it the most. I just find it all so aggravating: here we are barely eking by & paying taxes that end up just going to help the rich take advantage of all the loopholes. mad I tell ya, if I ever get back on my feet again, I want to hire a lawyer and start a non-profit that gives free advice to poor, sick people about how WE can get access to these types of programs. I think we really need something like that b/c otherwise the Richy Riches of this world will all rely on their accountants & lawyers to find the loopholes & those of us who really need it will be left in the dust. oh man, I just get so aggravated at all the injustices right now -- and especially that these politicians sell these programs to people under false pretenses & the original intentions are never fulfilled. I thought our politicians were supposed to be super smart lawyer-people. How do they keep screwing up these programs so that the intended beneficiaries can't qualify & instead the banks and wealthy people just get richer while those of us with so little just get poorer. Oh! So aggravating! I guess we just have to take care of each other b/c I don't know if they will ever manage to get these gov't programs right. so sad. sad

I do hope & pray that things are going a little better for you. Hopefully you have found yourself a bag of Easter colored M&M's to help you through the toughest times.

peace,
frances

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/10/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Frances_2008 said...
I thought our politicians were supposed to be super smart lawyer-people.


Frances_2008 said...
How do they keep screwing up these programs so that the intended beneficiaries can't qualify & instead the banks and wealthy people just get richer while those of us with so little just get poorer.


Ask a question and then turn around and answer it. That isn't very fair, Frances_2008.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/10/2009 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony - I was about to make a similar comment! GMTA! Frances, I don't think it's any accident. The whole thing is in legalese for a reason. But it's too late to think about that now.

But you're right Frances, the more I learn about the recovery act so far it isn't benefiting me. I heard Obama say he would make it easy for people whose COBRA ran out and who couldn't afford individual policies to slide into Medicaid. We shall see. I do have until June 30 so I am making so many doctor appointments right now my head is spinning. That's the tough part - I can't keep my brain focused on those detailed things for long periods of time. I'm lucky to get a few phone calls made in a day and then I want to go take a nap!

Sandi - thanks so much for all that work! I will check out those websites just not tonight., Too tired! But the devil is in the details, as Frances is indicating. There are a lot of things that the politicians make "sound good" until you go to sign up and find out that you're not eligible. I heard the same thing about the mortgage programs, Frances. It won't help most of the people who are underwater with their mortgages - the very people who need it.

GRRRRRRRRRR........

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 4/11/2009 12:54 AM (GMT -7)   
PA-
Not sure if your insurance allows it, but are you allowed to get 90-day prescriptions with them? If so, maybe in June you could get a family member of church/temple person or such to help you out with the higher co-pay and at least that way you would have enough meds to get you through September. Just a thought -- that's my own game plan since I'm not sure I can even afford the 35% part of the COBRA insurance after a while.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/11/2009 2:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Frances,
Yes, that's what I plan on doing in June. I'm holding my breath a bit, though, as I wonder if the insurance questions the fact that COBRA ends June 30. I'm hoping they don't and give me the 90 days. I've also been trying to take one less perc./day and save a few. There is a clinic in a nearby city for people with no insurance, and they even have a small pharmacy, but don't (of course!) dispense controlled substances. But at least if I get a bad sinus infection or something hopefully I can get an antibiotic I'm not allergic to! I remember the days decades ago (way before managed care hijacked our heatlh care system) that your family doctor would let you have an extra script of antibiotics in case you needed them if it was a case like this - with no insurance.

I was thinking of you with the 35% co-pay and wondering if that would be a way for you to afford your meds, but yes, even 35% can be a lot! Is there anyone you might be able to borrow that from? Because that would be great. And, again, Obama said that if you couldn't keep your COBRA or it ended he would make the transition to Medicaid easy. We'll see. We'll see.

And I also wonder if these programs will reach the people who really need them. Fortunately, my mortgage is paid, but my house is very hold and needs a ton of work which I can't afford. It's also not worth a lot, but if I sold it I'd have that cash and wouldn't be eligible for anything. And since my credit is shot because I couldn't pay my credit cards for the first time in my life, it will even be difficult to rent somewhere. So for now I will try to stay put. But I'm guessing your credit score is a little lower now, too, and a lot of these programs coming along though the banks are for people with good credit. DUH! The people who could keep paying everything through all this (I am NOT dumping on anyone here - trust me, I know it's hard for many, many people) are not the only ones who need help. Yes, the people on the edge who are managing to pay deserve some assistance, but those of us who have paid our bills all our lives, but already fell off the cliff in this recession deserve some help, too, but we're not longer good credit risks. Plus the credit card companies are closing cards and cutting limits even for people who have paid on time all along. Something is so very wrong with all this. We can't get political on this site, and it isn't even about either party, but an entire system and economy that is leaving many of us in the dust. Especially for many people with health problems, since health costs are the number one reason for bankruptcy, at least they have been until recently. Ok, I'll stop!

Sandi - thanks, but those sites link to the Pennsylvania state site, and I'm already pretty familiar with that. Trouble is a lot of things make it look like there's lots of help, until you start digging and you find it leads you back to square one. I think the main hope I and some others here have for help is the details of the recovery act that haven't yet unfolded themselves down through the regulatory process.
But Sandi, thanks for thinking of me and taking the time!!!

Hugs,

PaLady

Post Edited (PAlady) : 4/11/2009 3:31:16 PM (GMT-6)


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:17 PM (GMT -7)   
PA,

Have you looked into a 'reverse mortgage'?

You stay in your house, and the bank pays you a monthly payment as if YOU are the bank and THEY are the borrower.

Usually you get an option to get some 'extra' money at the front end, and they structure it for however long you want to figure you'll still need the house. If things get better for you, you can alway buy the house back, too.

May not work for your place, but probably worth asking about.
Wife: Liz, the choice of a lifetime
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
PA-
I had good credit up until 2 weeks ago. That wasn't the problem. The issue is that even though I put almost 20% down on my house that I am still more than 5% underwater which is Obama's requirement. Housing values in my neighborhood have fallen nearly 60%. It's an absolute nightmare. Meanwhile, the condo assessments have gone up 350% so I have an extra $500/month that I need to come up with & that amount is over half my monthly mortgage. It is pure insanity. Since my employment will officially end on the 23rd, it will be even harder to work anything out after that since you also have to have a good-paying job to qualify for financial assistance (figure that one out!). I couldn't sleep last night & was watching a re-run of a financial program from earlier in the week. There was a mortgage banker on the program from a major Chicago bank. She said that even though their average mortgage is for $250K, that the average value of the homes that were refinanced under the Obama plan was $1.1M. I just get so angry at the injustice of it. She said she could count on one hand the number of people who were actually in financial trouble who qualified for refinancing under Obama's guidelines. She said even though the vast majority of people who applied WERE those who were in danger of default, that almost none of those people could qualify for the assistance program. I'm starting to feel like maybe we should just stop all these stupid programs completely b/c when I think about how I am paying hard-earned tax dollars that are going to finance millionaires' homes, I want to scream.

I do have severance pay that will cover my health insurance through the end of June, and my friends at the food bank said they will help me out with the $125/month for COBRA coverage, but I just feel terrible taking from them. In my area, not surprisingly, the city & state jobs that are created from the Bailout Package are going to friends & family of the politicians. So the only thing left is federal jobs. I found some more possibilities with the Census Bureau. They are short term jobs (1-2 years) & hours are not guaranteed, but something is better than nothing. If I could even just get some kind of work for 90 consecutive days, my mortgage insurance would kick-in after that and cover my mortgage payments for up to 12 months, but since I was out sick & then was only back to work for 60 days before losing my job, I don't qualify for that right now. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed & trying to make this work as I'm sure you & millions of other Americans are likewise trying to do. I mean, I know life is supposed to be hard, but sometimes this all just seems nearly impossible.

take care,
frances

PS-- Every insurer is different, but I do remember when I had a teaching job that I was paying COBRA for & got a job after 15 months which had a 60 day waiting period to qualify for benefits. Because of the new deductible, I wanted to stock up on my meds & they did cover a 90-day prescription for me, even though it was month 17. I don't think the insurance people know that you are on COBRA when they pay for prescriptions. Just make sure you double check about the last day of coverage & get that order in a few weeks ahead of time so that if there are any problems at all that they can be worked out before your coverage expires. As an added benefit, I could fill one month at the regular pharmacy & a 90-day supply through mail-order so I got my regular prescription for 30 days & then 2 weeks later got another 90 days' worth. It's really just trying to figure out how to beat them at their own game. :) hee, hee, hee

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Doesn't this all just make your head spin? I mean that's what's getting to me....trying to keep track of each program, days, months, eligibility, etc, etc, etc, Like keeping track of our presriptions isn't enough in itself? And now I'm trying to do dental and eye stuff on top of it. One problem is the hospital where I have to get my meds is the host hospital that holds the policy (the place that laid me off - I hate even walking in). I don't know if their computers will red flag a 90 day script in mid June when my policy ends June 30. I have to get them all in the middle of the month anyway, as that's when I run out. I guess if they don't, they don't. There's only so much we can do.

Frances - I sure know the feeling of hating to ask for help but I'm having to learn to bite into that bullet (yucky taste!) as are lots of people. That's the one consolation I have - not being alone in all this. Not just the CP, but all the $$ stuff. So if you have people who will pay your part of the COBRA please allow them. My cousin has paid my ENTIRE premium for almost a year or I wouldn't have had it at all. And she knows I likely will never be able to pay her back. You're a lot younger than I am; once you get back to working to some extent you'll be able to pay it forward. And as others have reminded me (ahem, I paid attention!) what we give to eachother here counts, and you certainly have given to me and others. I do feel for you re: your housing situation. That is a huge decline, plus the condo fees. You're right; it is so unfair. Keep searching that recover.gov site and see if something appears that will help you. I sure hope so!

Tony - I'm not old enough for a reverse mortgage; there's an age limit. And my house isn't worth a lot so I'd go through it and then have nothing left. Right now I've got to focus on getting my medical stuff taken care of before June 30, and beginning the SSD process. Those two things will be all I can handle, even filling out the paperwork. And I'll lean on the little in my 401k to live on for awhile as I make decisions.

PaLady

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 4/12/2009 3:19 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband suggested reverse mortgage.

It's great living a carefree life in a stylish up-town rented
apartment.

However, we're moving back to a house - A fixer upper.
It even has a therapeutic pool. (Possibly usable)
I'm not excited about this one. Too much work moving. Again.

Our son-in-law is a contractor.
He wants it for a write off and will have all the work done.
He's charging us low low rent because we let him have our daughter. ha ha

I haven't been reading the threads very much.
I guess food stamps have been suggested.
I often wish I had them.

I hope you're on the hopeful side and have
a joyous Easter and a lpd.

Pamela

Post Edited (Pamela Neckpain) : 4/12/2009 4:31:53 AM (GMT-6)

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