Paying for chemo without insurance. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Paying for chemo without insurance. Any advice?

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My friend lives in FL and due to divorce now has no ins. Has been told the lump in breast is cancer and she
needs more testing and possible surgery and chemo.
She's 62. The new Obama plans are at least $700. per
month. Are there any agencies she can get help through.
Tthanks

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Thanks everyone. This site is great. I had forgot about COBRA. I delt with that 30 years ago when my husband died. She divorced a retired military. He can't add her as
he was retired before they married. He already postponed divorce a year to help her. Year is up is why she's looking now. This site has giving us a couple of things to check into. I/we appreciate all suggestions.
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More information on Hill-Burton Act:

http://www.hrsa.gov/gethealthcare/affordable/hillburton/

Free and reduced care Hill-Burton hospitals (scroll down to find those in Florida):

http://www.hrsa.gov/gethealthcare/affordable/hillburton/facilities.html
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Something else she can investigate is the Hill-Burton hospitals. Hospitals which accepted funds under this federal act did so on the condition that they would offer treatment to indigent patients. I don't know whether there's a moderate payment required or not.

Catholic hospitals would I think be the first hospitals to check for Hill-Burton participation.
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I would suggest she meet with an expert in insurance plans or she can review them online after registering on the Healthcare market place.

There are varying plans and monthly premiums vary as well. If she is NOT employed and has no income, she should apply for Medicaid. They have an application process and actually think that the Marketplace screens you for Medicaid when you complete your application online. Medicaid varies by state, so some states have broader application than others.

It's my understanding that you have to have a minimum income to qualify through the marketplace, but you can't have too high of an income. Most people that I know who make between $15000. - $30,000.00 per year pay from zero to $200.00 per month.

If she has zero income she may qualify for Medicaid, which covers a lot. I don't think they can prevent coverage for preexisting anymore. Maybe an insurance person who knows more can chime it.

ALSO, when viewing the plans, look for a plan that is an HMO. Some of them do require you to use their doctors and hospitals, but they have $20.00 monthly premiums and zero deductible. It's almost worth it to have to play by their rules.

I would try very hard to get it worked out pretty soon as the open enrollment period deadline is approaching. You can only enroll outside of that time period if you have a major event.
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FF, good point on the COBRA extended coverage.
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Sandra, how long ago was your friend's divorce? In the past one can get COBRA for a number of months, meaning she could still remain on her ex-husband's insurance for that length of time. Either the ex-husband pays for the premiums, or she does, depending on how the divorce was decided.

Have your friend go to Healthcare . gov and have her look around for the best deal she can find for health insurance. Today she cannot be turned down because of a pre-existing condition.... in the past she would have been denied coverage.
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You might get some guidance from contacting the local Gilda's Club; it doesn't provide financial resources, but someone might have some suggestions on locating financial assistance. Same for the local hospitals' infusion centers, which sometimes have social workers for cancer patients.

I'm wondering though if her attorney could file a petition for the court to re-evaluate the divorce decree to provide for some type of assistance, perhaps just enough to cover the cost of an insurance policy.

Depending on the course of treatment, she may find that chemo and/or radiation will temporarily prevent her from working, depending on how difficult the treatment is. At that point, she might be able to get Medicaid. Even if she doesn't qualify now, I would suggest that she investigate qualification in the future, depending on the outcome of further testing.

She can also call her local senators and congresspeople; since we're going into an election year there might be someone who wants to earn favor and brownie points by helping someone who's really in need.
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BTW, what's an Obama plan? The marketplace subsidizes based on income, so she may not qualify for a subsidy, or may qualify for a small one. $700-1000 is pretty standard for people in their early 60s. It is highway robbery, but what do we do?
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Tell her to get insurance through the marketplace. She cannot be turned down due to preexisting conditions. I don't know how much the insurance will pay, though, for a problem that existed before the policy was taken out. Rats. If she had only gotten the insurance before they found the problem, it would be easy.
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I believe she was told as long as she was working
she did not qualify. Her job does not offer ins.
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