My mom was just diagnosed with COPD and can’t afford her oxygen. Is there anyone or any where that can help with the oxygen cost? - AgingCare.com

My mom was just diagnosed with COPD and can’t afford her oxygen. Is there anyone or any where that can help with the oxygen cost?

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My mom lives in Kansas she just recently got diagnosed with COPD (continues oxygen) and cpap at night she has insurance through her job but the job may let her go now that she is on continuous oxygen so she may loose her insurance and job with that she won’t be able to afford her oxygen/medication so any info would help I was told hardship helps but I have no info on how to go about this.....HELP

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Medicaid for NH care and Medicaid for health insurance only are two different things. My nephew receives SSD. Medicare and Medicaid for health insurance. He is allowed 20K a year in income for Medicaid health insurance. There is no spend down.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Her health insurance is through her job now, I assume? If so & if she is let go from her job she can get Cobra for 18 months until she works out applying for Medicare or Medicare. That could be somewhat expensive but still is an option. Cobra coverage is the cost of both what her employer pays toward her group employer coverage and the employee premium together. She can check the worksheet she fills out during her employer health open enrollment to find out both those premium costs. Add those #’s together for medical coverage and figure out what the cost will be per month. Usually most folks get paid twice a month so multiply x2. Cobra payments are due monthly.  

If she gets let go, she will receive the Cobra paperwork in the mail. It’s the law. 
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Reply to Shane1124
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With a life change, if she is not ready for Medicare, you should check with your insurance exchange. A change in income will determine if she is eligable for credit.  Once insurance is changed, the equipment providers may change.

I believe the problem is oxygen  and work is that any insurance will only provide a few tanks each week to get around for a few hours. Otherwise she is tethered to a concentrator which means she is disabled. The tanks are about 8 pounds to take around and last about 2 hours.  Plus she would need to bring the home concentrater with her to work. Her insurance and just about any insurance will probably only send her 4 tanks per week and certainly not enough to do a full time job. Her job may not allow for oxygen based on her inability to get to work and ambulate during her job.  Is she short of breath doing those daily tasks?  Look around in public and I will bet you have never seen someone working and wearing oxygen. Oxygen for serious COPD is a big problem.

This did not suddenly happen to her. What were the details that required need for oxygen?  Was she frequently calling in sick or did she recently have a hospitalization?

With CPAP, she just has to be compliant and wear it for at least 4 hours each night. She gets to keep the device after a few months but she will need a replacemant mask about every 6 months. The devices record time so if she is not following through for the first fee months, her insurance has the right to remove it permanently. 


She should be eligible for disability. She can call her local social services to understand the process.
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Reply to MACinCT
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 If she is at least 62 years old, under some circumstances, she MIGHT be able to get Medicare. Also, find out about your states Medicaid program.
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Reply to peace416
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Is your mother old enough to get Medicare?

Have you considered seeing an elder law attorney or one who handles disability issues? I would think that unless using oxygen interferes with her job responsibilities and/or activities, that firing someone b/c of oxygen use would fall under the ADA and could be considered discrimination. She may have a cast against this company, unless oxygen use interferes with performance of her job.

She could also ask her pulmonologist how to get help with oxygen supplies and equipment.

Also, does her job expose her to conditions that could cause or contribute to her COPD? Does she work in an area with a lot of dust? Is she exposed to asbestos or other respiratory toxins?

I don't understand continuous oxygen and CPAP at night though. If she needs CPAP at night, that's not continuous. And if she needs oxygen during the day, does she need a different level at night, which would justify the CPAP?

Pam is a respiratory therapist; perhaps she'll stop by and offer some insight into this.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Apply for Medicaid for your mom. She has to have less than $2000. in the bank. Sign up now and hopefully it will be processed by the time she looses her job.

You should be able to get emergency oxygen, as it is a life saving treatment (like insulin).

There are oxygen concentrators that take the oxygen out of the air and concentrate it through this machine. To buy it is a bit expensive ($500.) but you would never need to rent oxygen tanks from a company again.
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Reply to SueC1957
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