Asked by DEMICH on Thursday, September 15, 2011


    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • lovekitties' Avatar

      How does one cope? As far as the disease is concerned, you have to make sure you and your docs are on the same page when it comes to procedures and treatments. If you don't feel you are being "heard", then you need to get additional opinions as to what your options are. Being as informed as possible will help you feel more in control. As far as insurance and finances, again being informed is the key. I was without any insurance when diagnosed. I talked with each of my care providers about my situation. Some, didn't give a dollar, but most were willing to cut their fees or forgive them entirely. Don't be shy about putting your financial situation out there. It may help. Also if you are having difficulty with dealing with the insurance company there are advocates who can help. Check on the internet for your state and see what assistance is available through your state agencies that deal with insurance companies. If you run into a particular problem, post it and I feel certain others may have additional detailed suggestions. Your chapter of the American Cancer Society may also have suggestions for resources to assist you with any of these issues. Best wishes for good health.

      over 10 years ago
    • Pangea422's Avatar

      i've been handling all the finances for my mom in regards to her bills and such, and i know they can come fast and furiously. we actually waited for all the insurance claims then invoices to come and then matched them up. since my mom's insurance was terrible, we were left with a lot of out-of-pocket expenses which totaled to nearly $140,000. i documented everything in a spreadsheet, then went through them one by one and called up each of the offices, told them of our situation and we were essentially a cash patient. we got almost everything reduced down significantly. you just need to make sure you take it one step at a time and sort through them. take a day here or there, but make sure to address them all, and note who you talked to and when. we did have to call back on a few of them because they sent it to collection even after we talked, but it's just because their systems are a bit behind in logging this stuff. but always ask for financial assistance/charity, and depending on your income situation, you most likely will be able to get them reduced. good luck with everything.

      over 10 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      well i did everything right we had a savings account 2 jobs etc when i had to stop working we paid the bills from the savings account when that was getting low i called my credit card companies and asked to get put on a hardship plan I was told to go stand on the street and earn my money like most woman do.. i was told to go beg from charties and family members one even told me that i needed to stop treatment until I could afford it. and best of all when i called the mortgage co they defered 2 months worth of payments after all we had bene there 11 years well some stupid idiot screwed up and sent us to foreclosure. so you get someone else to deal with the finical mess. you do not need the stress. focus on your health and when the person does deal with your debotors make sure to record all phone calls it is easy to do put the call on speaker and get the camcorder out and record it. protect yourself!

      over 10 years ago
    • Pangea422's Avatar

      yes! document everything from the person you spoke with to the date and time you spoke with them. you think you'll remember, but since there's so much going on at once, and most likely you'll be transferred a few times during one call, i just sat in front of my computer or had a notepad during each call and took notes.

      over 10 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar

      I too have used all my savings, pawned my jewelry to pay a month's rent, sold my fridge to pay part of another month's rent, and since I haven't been approved for disability by Social Security yet, my income is $220 a month with $200 in food stamps. The SSI hearing is January 23 and the property managers want all the back rent on February 8 or I will be evicted. There are shelters where I could go temporarily after I figure out what to do with my stuff but I would have to line up at 5 pm every day for a bed. There is no medical care in any of the shelters unless I have a drug or alcohol problem (which I don't). So a very stressful time right now and dealing with daily radiation doesn't help. Somehow I'll get through this.

      about 10 years ago
    • BKN's Avatar

      Greetings all,

      Speaking on behalf of my husband and me, we know all too well the financial devastation a catastrophic illness can cause. In our case, we're dealing with numerous... some incurable and the one 'big scary' most often fatal but it's been almost 5 1/2 years and we continue Fighting the Good Fight together.

      My hubby planned to work a number of years more to contribute more to our retirement but alas, that was cut short suddenly and without warning. How could any normal middle to upper-middle class family prepare for this, not to mention others who've not been so fortunate. At any rate, our retirement fund was at a reasonable place. We wouldn't have been rich but comfortable. Goes without saying that was hit hard once he turned 65 and we could make withdrawals to start paying off the really big bills. BE WARNED though, when making withdrawals check to ensure the financial institution withholds enough for taxes. Definitely something I would have liked to have known as we got hit big time by Uncle Sam.

      Next, regarding insurance companies that withholds payment/refuse to honor their financial obligation... I learned long ago that writing the State Board of Insurance, providing as much documentation as possible AND copying the offending insurance company goes a long way, quickly!

      Lastly, when applying for SSDI it is truly in the best interest of the applicant to either hire an attorney (it should never cost anything out of pocket!) or an agency that specializes in disability cases. Anyway one goes it does take some time. However, having a legal representative knowing exactly how to complete the paperwork (who knows all the intricate, proper language) makes the process much faster. Sadly, those who go it alone often are denied not just once and could possibly end up without ever being approved.

      Good luck everyone. Hope this little bit of info is of help to someone!

      over 9 years ago
    • Casey17's Avatar

      I have family members do some of the calling and talking to the insurance companies for me....

      over 9 years ago
    • dragin's Avatar

      I recommend getting an advocate. Take someone along to all medical visits. Have someone listen to all phone calls and help document. In Wisconsin I approached the Center for Patient Partnership in the Law School at the University of Wisconsin. They have been very helpful. I have Medicare and a supplement policy that does not have dental coverage. My teeth have disintegrated as a result of my treatments. The dentist wanted $800 to pull one complex tooth. So far the supplement has approved payment and I am waiting to see how much they will pay. The point is they said no benefits until I got an advocate.

      over 9 years ago
    • Lavonne's Avatar

      I JUST HEARD GREAT NEWS! STIVARGA (REGORAFENIB) WAS FDA APPROVED TODAY FOR ADVANCED COLON CANCER. If you are having trouble with insurance not approving clinical trial now this is FDA approved. This is actually a drug I was wanting my sister in law for months to be able to get thru a clinical trial now the oncologist should have access to it. So thankful.

      over 9 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      If you have any debt, call the toll free numbers on credit cards and ask for a lower interest rate or a deferral of payments due to a hardship. Unfortunately, this does go against one's credit rating, but I've had cooperation with credit card companies lowering my interest rate.

      about 9 years ago

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