Article Talk: Treatment for Cancer's Twin Ailment: Financial Toxicity

Started by DAS07, July 26, 2018
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558 Posts
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July 26, 2018
I am considerably older than you and although that doesn't amount to a hill of beans when faced with cancer, I will say it has given me more time to face the reality of bankruptcy and foreclosure in fighting this ugly beast. If I may, I would like to make 3 suggestions. First, reinvestigate Medicare. Last year I was faced with kidney stones, gall bladder removal and a wonderful condition named osteomyelitis [an infection in the spine requiring 6 weeks of antibiotics, taken intravenously, four times daily; I was given the choice of going home to self administer or going to a nursing facility with 24 hour care, room, board and all medications - the tipping point: due to insurance coverage, if I went home it would cost me $5,000. [not including daily living expenses like food] or if I went to the nursing facility it would be free. Tough decision?]. When my health insurance came up for renewal I talked with a lot of people in healthcare and insurance and discovered Medicare Advantage was not a good answer for me. If I didn't plan on getting sick, it was ok, but with the litany of problems I faced last year, the scary thought of facing similar maladies in the coming year, in addition to all of the "potentials" of cancer, it didn't make sense. I would suggest you access the handy-dandy guide for Medicare, answer the questions, talk with someone who has answers and make the decisions based on gathered information. I do not pretend to be qualified to guide you through the morass known as "medical insurance". My guess is you will not go with Medicare Advantage, but rather original Medicare with a Medicare-gap policy and prescription coverage. It could be more expensive but it could also save you money in the long run. You need to do due diligence. Only you know your situation and you need to make the final decision. The second suggestion I would make is contact In the latest issue of their magazine they ran an article titled "Broke From Cancer" which probably won't offer too many suggestions you want to hear, although it may, but it will be about issues with which you [and I] can identify. You may have to beg them for a copy if you are not a member, but I think you will find it interesting. One suggestion outlined in the article I heartily endorse is keeping a full record of every visit with every doctor, specialist, consultant including test results and telephone conversation with dates and parties involved. Last year during my stay in the hospital for osteomyelitis, my doctors needed test results from blood cultures I knew had been developed at an earlier stay at another hospital. The results were requested but the original hospital had managed to loose them. Luckily, my daughter was able to retrieve them from my files at home, saving time and expense. Finally, if you live in an urban area, seek out support groups. I volunteered for four-and-a-half years at Gilda's Club in Chicago and found them accessible and open to men, women, families [including children] and friends of people facing cancer. Best of luck in your battle with the many-headed dragon you are facing.href='' target='_blank'>View Original Post

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