Some Insurance and Money Advice - How I hurt my family, and maybe you can avoid my situation.

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schrek-chewbacca hunk
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2666
   Posted 9/18/2008 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
First, let me say that I am so terribly blessed.  I am a very lucky man to have health insurance - a combination of Medicare, a Medicap Policy with BCBS at $400 premiums per month, and a Medicare Part D-Drug Policy at $70.00 per month and a $3250. per year copay.  So I am very fortunate to have it and to be able to afford my premiums and copays.  Thank you God.
Second, let me say I am not pleading poverty in this post.  What I am saying is that having health insurance is not enough to save your family from financial tragey.
As many of you know, I had UC since 2000, and went into remission when Remi got FDA approved for Colitis.  Before that I was on steroids for most of 7 years.  I am also a diabetic.  Having diabetes and taking steroids for that long made me develop Charkot disease.  Basically osteoporosis of the lower legs and feet.  Until last year, it meant amputation, but I tried the new FDA surgery developed here in DC at Georgetown.  It worked-sort of-in that I still have my legs and feet.  I unfortunately acquired MRSA infection in one of the feet and required major major 11 hour surgery to save the leg.  I had 7 surgeries.  Now I am going home from the nursing home and hospital after 6 longs months.
Even with the healthcare coverage I had, the bills that we had to pay have just topped $100,000 in six months (and I have a year of home-based therapy to still go through - not to mention UC and diabetes.
In short, in order to pay this money - we either had to sell our house - or take a second mortgage to pay it off.
Now we have to pay that mortgage down (again, thank God we were approved).  And I am terrified that something might happen to cause more health problems - and take my wife to the poor house.  And yet I am insured.
Something that would have helped - about 50,000. worth, would have been long term care insurance.  But I was unable to get it because of the combination of UC and diabetes, and my age when I applied.  Please, If you can, get the insurance, especially if you are young - then they can't take it away from you if you develop complications.
I know it is hard to make ends meet, and LTC insurance would have meant another $400.00 per month - but it would have protected us more had I been able to get it.
If you can't get approved, try to save money in a special account for that proverbial rainy day.  I am sorry I didn't - and look what I did to my wonderful wife.
Please take care of you, and your families - and I pray that this won't happen to you.
Also, watch those steroids.
With love to all here,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/18/2008 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Good advice on the insurance, I always make sure I have Long Term Disability, too.
I hope the hospital didn't charge you for the surgery caused by MRSA. Look into "never events" which is what they call these situations. You shouldn't have to pay for that, but some hospitals have not caught on.
I also hope you have tried to negotiate your bill with the hospital. They will negotiate! At least the ones I represent will.
I gave up a lot in a peaceful divorce and had to just let go, and now I don't worry about money anymore. I give a lot away and next thing I know even more good fortune finds me somehow!
I hope you find peace.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering OFF prednisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
Sept: Mild case of thrush in throat, prescribed antifungal mouthwash.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/18/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I can't get approved for any insurance because of my pre existing conditions. My only hope is to work for a company that gives benefits and hopefully marry someone who does too lol xD

My trouble is with Trillium? does anyone hav any advice on how to deal with them? They keep giving me the run around.

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 9/18/2008 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I was recently turned down for long-term care insurance on the basis of UC alone.

Judy - Southern US 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5191
   Posted 9/18/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
You're right, but there are caveats with LTC insurance, too. There was a company based in the Midwest, as I recall from reading news articles last year, that defrauded many clients who had paid premiums for a good while then were denied LTC coverage when they filed claims. I myself joined a professional association plan with reasonable premiums which I paid quarterly for ca. 3 years; then the association decided to sell this LTC plan to MetLife. At least I got grandfathered in; hopefully it will stay viable. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 9/18/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Shrek - could you have done a payment plan instead of a mortgage? I guess its a little late now. Always read the fine print when taking on debt. Many debts are forgiven upon death while others survive and go to the estate or co-signor. So if the medical debt would be wiped on death but the mortgage wouldn't that might be a reason to float the medical debt. What were they going to do if you didn't pay it in full? Most people wouldn't be able to...
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/5/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Ania said...
My trouble is with Trillium? does anyone hav any advice on how to deal with them? They keep giving me the run around.

What's your issue? Maybe I can help?

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/5/2008 7:27 PM (GMT -6)   
for Trillium =- see if you can get assigned a social worker to help you fill out the forms, and whatever else you need. Your doctor should be able to find someone to help you out.

I read the original post and although our drugs are not covered up here, thank goodness I dont have to worry about MD visits in canada.. I sympathize with the OP.
Liver transplant 2004 -- liver is only healthy part of me
Prograf 1mg bid for transplant
Remicade every 6 weeks - not working
pentasa 1500mg tid
palafer once daily
lomotil every day as needed
immodium every day as needed

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