New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 7/15/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I saw your posts about the problems with coming up with money for the dental surgery. I did see on TV a few months back that Doctors Without Borders was now traveling to see people throughout the U.S. b/c of the economic crisis here & people's inability to get insurance/medical care here. They do have dentists who travel with them. On the TV program they were in Allegheny. I don't have any idea how to find out their schedule, but maybe that would be an option for you so you don't have to wait until you've saved up $800. Just a thought...

hugs,
Frances
Moderator -- Depression Forum


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/15/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Frances.

I think I may know what you're referencing, although I'm not sure. I saw one report about doctors setting up in tent like situations (sort of like a MASH unit) to treat the uninsured and underinsured. And people coming from great distances to wait in long lines. It was like something you never thought you'd see in this country.

There is a community health clinic that's not too far away and I think they recently added a dentist, although I don't know if they do root canals. Kind of scarey to think of a strange dentist doing that serious of a procedure.

I just spent about an hour on the phone with my annuity company who was telling me that they could not give me more than 10% of the money this year - maybe, maybe they might be able to give me the 2010 amount (an additional 10%), but then I wouldn't be eligible for anything more until 2011. This all just sucks. They really led me to believe I could access those funds when I turned 59 1/2, and I told them that.

Oh, I can't even think about it right now.

Thanks for that info, though. You know how scarey this is. I may have to sell my house but it's not really worth a lot, plus there's the issue of where would I go (my cousin's daughter is likely returning home to live with her in her second bedroom), and my credit score is in the tank so renting would be a real challenge. That's all assuming I could find a buyer.

I've got to go keep working on my taxes. I have to finish them in these next few days because everyone wants them.

Do you hear things from people over the phone like "I know how you feel" and you want to explode? I pretty much did between the tears with this guy telling him no, he has a job and probably his health and health insurance and isn't facing what's considered a premalignent condition. No, they don't know how we feel.

Sorry for going off a bit!

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 7/15/2009 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
No problem for going off. I do that myself a lot these days.

I haven't gotten "I know how you feel" lately. Mostly I get "it's not your fault". That one really gets me. If they really felt like that, then why are they refusing to work with me. It seems like the people who are willing to get me on payment plant & such never say such stupid things. Of course it's my fault. It all sucks, but really I should have not gotten myself into a debtor situation. That's the lesson to take away from all this. 3 months of savings & 20% down on my home really wasn't enough. It all goes so quickly. I bought into the ridiculous fairy tale that homeownership was the way to go. Well, it was a silly dream, but I take full responsibility for that.

What irritates me even more is when they then go on to talk about how they have cut back by doing things like not going out to eat more than once a week, or bringing their own snacks to the movie theatre. Honestly, I don't even remember the last time I went to the theatre. It was whenever the first Batman movie came out. So cutting out movie snacks is not going to help me. I tell these evil people that the only thing I can cut out, and do as often as possible, is eating. I skip the grocery store to cut my monthly food budget back from $70/month to $50/month & that includes not just food but laundry detergent, tp, feminine products (can't cut those out), etc. I buy generic unless I have coupons that make name brand products cheaper for everything except laundry detergent b/c I'm allergic to the dyes in the generics.

I've hit my out-of-pocket max on my medical, so at least that is covered (though my insurance is so screwed up I'm averaging 16 hours/month on the phone with the insurance administrators & my former employer trying to get meds & doctors bills covered as they should be). I don't spite people for having jobs, but it does irritate me that they can't train these people not to say such stupid things under the guise of empathy.

I'm passing out from undernourishment, having dropped from a size 14 to a size 4 & they're suggesting I give up theatre candy. It's just so ridiculous. I actually got an offer for a job in that field a couple weeks ago, but I imagine the stress on me of listening to stupid, obnoxious, pretentious people all day would send me over the edge, so I turned it down. I hadn't even applied, they just saw my resume on-line & hunted me down. I guess that's just one more sign of the crazy times we live in.

There were really long lines for the DWB groups in the U.S. It's not ideal & probably not as good as what you would get at a clinic since they could offer follow-up care, but at least it's something. My PM actually volunteers with DWB & he said the doctors there are actually really good. He likes them a lot & said he would see any one of them if he had a problem, regardless of whether or not he had to pay. He says they take a careful history. You should plan to bring all your records & list of meds, but I'm sure you're thorough enough to do that anyways. Just thought that might put your mind a bit at ease.

take care,
Frances
Moderator -- Depression Forum


fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 7/16/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Palady, I also thought you could start taking funds at 59 1/2. I talked to one of my financial counselors and he said that there are clauses in some investments have a clause if there is a medical emergency.

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 7/16/2009 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I feel for you all that are having financial problems. Not only do we have to suffer from chronic pain and other health issues we have the constant bills from trying to stay well and pain free. I had an MRI done for lower back and after deductible & co-pay I owe the hospital and radiologist over $650, then I needed a CT scan cause an enlarged kidney showed up on the MRI, that cost $300. Then I got shingles and the medicine was $45. This is all after insurance. Add on the $30 co-pay everytime I see my PM doctor and meds on top of that. I filed for SSDI but that may take years to pay. Money is very tight now with me not working. Just wanted you all that I feel for you. I guess we can just keep on keeping on.

Jag

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/16/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Jag.

Fatherjohn - I spent about an hour on the phone with the annuity guy yesterday. It's soooooo complicated, as you can well guess. He gave me the ilist of conditions that allow for SOME flexibility, but it's the IRS rules about medical costs. Like if you're spending over 10% of your income on unreimbursed medical expenses. Well, how can they be unreimbursed if you can't afford the health insurance and therefore can't go for any medical treatment? Even at that the "best" he said they could probably do is give me the 10% from next year early, and then nothing until 2011. Then he gives me other things like "imminent" shut off of utilities. Well, that will happen in a few short months. I know the gas company can't shut off your main source of heat during the winter months here, but they can sure keep billing you. And the low income energy assistane program, which I applied for and got last year, only gave me $300. That covered two months of my heating bill. So I guess once my power goes out I write them a letter by candlelight and beg for more money? But he said really, it's probably NOT going to happen. But what no one there ever told me in recent years when I have had to access some of my funds was that I could have been putting 10% of this money each year into an acccessible account and now I WOULD have it all available to me. Yes, I told him to add this to the list of things in my complaint, but there's only so much I can do. They want my tax return, too. So do the pharmaceutical companies in order to give you low cost meds.

All I would say to you FJ is to really get to know the rules around any retirement funds you have in case you may need them - and make sure they're accessible to you. The little bit - and I mean hardly enough to buy a new small car - that I have left could have been available to me had I known this, and it's only in treasury funds earning around 3-4% a year.

It's crazy what you run into when you start to hit these walls, especially with it happening to so many at once. At least I don't feel alone, but everyone's resources are stretched.

Ok, enough for now!!

Frances -- re: the DWB story. If it's the same one I saw, people were given numbers and waited for hours, but the line eventually had to be cut off. Many who had driven for miles were turned away. I would bet that the doctors there are caring and offering the best care they can under such limited conditions.

We can't get political but if this isn't the time to press for health care reform, I don't know when it is. So any of you reading this with health insurance, remember you're a pink slip away from all this - unless you happen to be wealthy.

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 7/16/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Have you tried calling the IRS directly?  I've called them about issues I've had with taxes & retirement plans in the past and have found out that often employers are giving out the wrong information.  They cite IRS regulations that are either misinterpreted, no longer exist, or never did exist (at least not as far as the IRS is concerned, maybe according to some other regulatory body).  The people there are super nice.  Most help they will give to anybody for free.  Some services you can't make more than 200% of the povery level (I'm sure you'd qualify; I know I did).  It's worth a shot, especially if somehow your annuity company is wrong about being able to take money out.  Also, you could call the Division of Insurance in your state.  They should have a free consumer hotline service.  They won't actually answer most questions over the phone, but they do provide free advocacy to U.S. citizens in their state as long as you can send them a clearly-worded letter & supporting documentation (they will tell you what they need you to send during the phone call).

Anyways, I'll be crossing my fingers & saying a prayer that you find some way to access your money.  My g-ma had an issue accessing her annuity.  She filed a complaint with the insurance division where she lives & they were able to mediate a solution with the insurance company.


Moderator -- Depression Forum


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/16/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Frances. My former employer is really not involved anymore. It's the annuity company's regulations, which are not unusual for an annuity, and I'm sure it was all explained in fine print somewhere that I didn't read or think about in the past. Afterall it was in the 1980's when I signed up for this. I have to see how the process works out first on an in-house basis. The IRS rules they're siting ARE the IRS rules, but I don't believe there isn't something in the annuity company somewhere for a compassionate exception. So we'll see.

On the (hopefully) good news front, I called about conversion insurance plans today and the lower cost one that only pays for 4 doctor visits/year, and $1,000 worth of diagnostics, plus hospital care, but no Rx told me that an endoscopy would be considered surgery and as long as it was preapproved it would be covered in full. Hospital and surgical costs are also covered in full. And because it's a conversion from my BC/BS plan, there are no exclusions to pre-existing conditions. It only costs about $140/month so I think my cousin can swing that - or at least part of it and I'll find some way to swing the other part. All the hospitals in the area are participating, but not necessarily all outpatient centers or doctors, but the endoscopy center I used does accept it. I just hope that holds true. They're sending me an application. I have to apply within 90 days or I lose the pre-existing condition exclusion. I know insurance is an issue for you, so if you can't afford your COBRA even with the government subsidy, maybe there is something you can qualify for. It is income based, however, and like everyone else they want my tax return.

You know you're beating yourself up about your house, but putting 20% down is a decent downpayment. It's not like the 5% down mortgages. How could you know the housing market was going to crash? And it's certainly not your fault. So ease up on yourself a bit!

Hugs,

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 7/17/2009 5:09 PM (GMT -7)   
My church teaches that all loans are contrary to our faith. I don't expect everyone else to subscribe to that belief, but gosh it sure seems applicable now. There are a lot of people I know who have rented their whole lives & pay cash for everything (by cash I mean that every bill is paid in full by the end of the month). They are the happiest people I know. They work b/c they like to work, not b/c they are stuck in a home they hate, with mounds of credit card debt or anything else. I'm not preaching at anyone, but I think for me that really is the way to go.

Separate from my faith, I believe in personal accountability. A large part of my issue (beside the mortgage) was medical bills. We have plenty of free and low-cost care available in Chicago. I could have gone to the county clinic, rather than the private pain clinic & not have run up such high medical expenses. The county clinic is about 15% of what my PM charges (& he is not at all unreasonable), but I didn't want to wait in line & was nervous about the constant tB outbreaks at the hospital & free clinics, so I talked myself into continuing with my private PM even though I really couldn't afford him. Even with insurance, I ran up $17K in medical expenses. I will be paying it off for a very long time. Between those payments ($300/month), my other bills, and the ever-increasing condo assessments due to my deadbeat neighbors, I just can't make my mortgage anymore. I don't have anyone to blame but myself. I knew what I was signing. I knew it was more than the 33% debt-income ratio that even the most aggressive financial planners recommend. I just kinda figured I would be okay. I wouldn't keep getting worse. I wouldn't pick a horrible, good-for-nothing insurance plan one year that would practically bankrupt me... well, you get the idea. I just kinda assumed things would be okay. But life is NEVER like that. Whatever can go wrong will. Those who are sick or in pain tend to get worse before they get better. There are always unplanned expenses. There will always be good-for-nothing deadbeats who move into your condo building when it is least convenient & ruin things for everybody.

The whole thing is just so frustrating. I can't change the past & I'm okay with that. I know I can't just keep looking back forever. That's why I'm trying to work something out with my mortgage company. I can't change the past; all I can do is promise not to make the same mistake again. So I can do that & offer to try to figure out a way to repay what I promised, albeit under different terms, but my bank so far has just been completely unwilling to even try to work something out. I'm meeting with them, Freddie Mac, my PMI provider & so on next Saturday, so hopefully something will come of that. Maybe seeing my hobbling over to their table will win me some sympathy points. ;) Well, one can dream, right? :)

Good luck working everything out with your insurance. It sounds like maybe there is a shred of hope that between Wal-Mart & this insurance you could get some sort of care. I would suggest samples, but I know my PM said that the samples people have all but stopped coming. The Voltaren people still bring their gel, but that's about it. I will keep my fingers crossed that you get lucky & somehow manage to find some place that will help you find a way to get some sort of pain meds that help w/out too many side effects. :)

take care,
Frances
Moderator -- Depression Forum


anice
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 7/18/2009 1:32 AM (GMT -7)   
PaLady, I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you. I know with everything you are facing it is quite overwhelming, as it would be for any of us. There is so much to deal with. I wish I knew what the right and quick answer for you was. I do care and I am thinking about you. You have all of our love and support coming your way. Sorry I don't have the right words. But I will send a big soft hug your way. They always feel good.
(((((((((((((((((((PaLady))))))))))))))))
Anice
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 03, 2016 2:44 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,731,994 posts in 300,980 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151146 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, LadyCapricorn.
171 Guest(s), 1 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
getting by


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer