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My sister just about died because she has no insurance

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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:47 PM
Original message
My sister just about died because she has no insurance
she was released from her good job that had insurance last year a nursing home where she was social services director...after 30 years with the same company...the company sold and the new company downsized and kept the younger employee that didn't make as much in salary.


My sister lost her insurance and has been on unemployment since. She is 53 and in the town she lives in that nursing home was just about the only place for her to work. She is now working part time driving the SR. Bus, but it has no benefits.



Well, last week she had a major issue and turns out she has gallstones and her appendix is inflamed as well. She has no insurance so she just took tylenol to mask the pain...until she collapsed.

Now she had surgery and doesn't know how she will pay the bill. She was in the hospital longer than it should have been because she ignored the pain hoping it would go away since she can't pay for the hospital.

tell me how that is better than if she had had some kind of insurance she would have taken care of it as soon as she knew there was a problem. Her bill is quite a bit higher and will probably never be paid...

yea, that helps teh country right
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Please give her our best. We can't allow this kind of thing to happen ever again.
We have to fight for your sister and everybody's sister.

I'm so sorry to hear this. Please give her every good wishes from all of us here.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Seems like lots of bad luck in your family, hope things get better someday!
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. it does seem like we all have gastro issues
I am still waiting on the results of my bioposy of my colon

I am still in great pain


but...

I have insurance
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. I'm glad she was saved. my sister-in-law's brother wasn't. Tell her there
are people in this world that don't know her that love her tonight.
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nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. so sorry to hear about your sister. I don't have answers about
the bill, but it sounds like she's better now, and that's great!! Keep us posted...
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. Best wishes to your sister.
Hopefully, things will change soon.
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jimlup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good wishes to you and your sister!
This is what makes me so mad about our health care system. It is outrageous. Absolutely outrageous. The Republicans press false rumors of death panels and fear while the real fear is from the corporations that dictate who will live or die.

I'm so mad I can hardly debate "Health Care" on mainstream sites. People are so confused and unfortunately, they Republicans have succeeded in planting a lot of false information and adding significantly to the confusion. The republicans are morally responsible for all of the problems that developer because of our inferior corporate system.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Your sister's experience is shared by millions and ignored by the media.
Those people who think they are secure and safe with their corporate policies are one misfortune away from the same fate.
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Christa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. My best wishes to her
Thank you for posting this.

:grouphug:
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. It doesn't help anyone.
The US should join the rest of the western, industrialized nations....and some other nations...and institute universal health care. Single payer is easiest, so just bite the damn bullet and do it.
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bkkyosemite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. Tell her to give $10 a month payments and that is it. There are plans the hospital has for those
with little resources but you cannot own lots of stuff or be worth a lot. She can fill out the form and they can relieve her of the bill or if she does not qualify jjust pay a payment and don't let them intimidate her.

I hope she has a quick recovery. I am sick of the country's back turning on healthcare for everyone.

HR 676 Medicare for all.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. What would be her situation if Obama's bill had been in effect?
Could she have afforded the insurance she would have been mandated to buy? Or I guess her part time job would have been obligated to provide her with insurance? Would they have been able to hire her with that extra cost?

So many "what ifs" I know, but I truly wonder how these plans will work in the real world.

Unless you are advocating for single payer based on taxes. Then all those don't matter.
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canoeist52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
10. My sis-in-law did die from lack of insurance.
She had diabetes. Self-employed family so they couldn't afford insurance for the proper medication- so she tried to self- medicate using herbals (Don't know which ones). She had a heart attack on Christmas Eve. My brother and his 15 y/o son tried to resuscitate her to no avail. Our family believes that it was the health-care mess that killed her to this day.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. So sorry for you loss and for her
husband and son. These situations are criminal. WHAT is wrong with this country aside from the fact that it's owned by lock, stock and barrel by corporations.

In NYC there is a huge billboard of the flag, in place of stars on the blue field there are the logos of various corporations. So appropriate, imho.

:grr:
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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. I want to crochet that flag as an afghan!
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. I haven't done any crochet in a million years
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 06:25 PM by madmax
Got into decorative painting. I could do one either on wood or using fabric and getting those logos from the corporatons. Must be some available for caps and shit.

Maybe you crochet fast ;) It would take me forever and there's more sand at the bottom of my hourglass than at the top. ;)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. Shit. I wish I had known about this before she had the surgery .I used an old
Chinese cure that my mom's roommate had heard about to avoid gallstone surgery. Gallstones are a SERIOUS pain. It was so excruciating that I just kept throwing up and nearly passing out. The cure is not pleasant and involves drinking large quantities of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, but it WORKS and is a hell of a lot cheaper than the $25,000 it costs for surgery.If anyone wants the link for the cure just PM me.

I hope that you send your sister's story to your rep. We can't wait for health care any more!
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DarbyUSMC Donating Member (352 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. I hope your sister will be alright. My question is this:
She was the director of social services at a nursing home? She didn't know about COBRA or declined it?

What is COBRA

What is COBRA? COBRA is the acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a 1986 federal law that allows for the temporary extension of group health coverage to people whose health benefits otherwise would be terminated.

What does COBRA do? It allows certain employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses and dependent children to continue health insurance coverage at group rates for specifics time periods. To be eligible, a person must have been enrolled in their employer's health plan when he or she was working for that particular company.

When does that coverage take effect? COBRA becomes available when an individual covered by a group health plan loses health insurance coverage because of a "qualifying event;" e.g., when an active employee's hours are reduced or job is terminated for reasons other than a person's gross misconduct. Spouses and dependent children may become COBRA-eligible when a covered employee's job is terminated or hours are reduced; when the employee becomes eligible for Medicare; upon the employee's death; or in the event of divorce or legal separation from a covered employee.

How long does COBRA coverage last? COBRA begins on the date when a qualifying event triggers the loss of the health coverage. The law allows up to 18 months of continued coverage for certain qualifying events and up to 36 months for other qualifying events or a second qualifying event during the initial period of coverage. Employers may choose to provide coverage for longer periods if they wish.

How much will I pay? You'll pay the entire premium amount, including the portion of the premium that your employer used to contribute toward your health benefits. You may also be required to pay a 2 percent administrative fee.

Do employers have to offer COBRA? Generally speaking, group health plans maintained by private-sector employers with 20 or more workers are subject to COBRA rules. However, if a company closed or went bankrupt and no longer offers a health plan, there is no required COBRA provision.

What's the process? Employers and qualified beneficiaries must inform the health plan administrator that a qualifying event has occurred. An employer has 30 days to give that notice in the event of an employee's death, termination, reduced hours of employment or entitlement to Medicare. A qualified beneficiary has 60 days to give notice after a divorce or legal separation or when a child no longer is covered as a dependent. A notice of the qualifying event must be sent to plan participants and beneficiaries within 14 days after the plan administrator receives notice that a qualifying event has occurred. An individual has 60 days to decide whether to elect coverage. After electing coverage, the person has 45 days to pay the premium.

What are the advantages of taking COBRA? Qualified individuals are able to buy temporary health insurance coverage at the group health rate. You will, however, pay more than active employees whose coverage is subsidized by the employer.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. October 24, 2005.


OK perhaps COBRA didn't apply in her case. Avoiding the ER is not a good decision anytime pain like that is involved. I'm not suggesting that people without insurance, or anyone for that matter, go to the ER for a cold or a hang-nail. Common sense should prevail. If someone ends up owing a hospital money? It's moot. That is why those with insurance are charged so much --- to absorb the losses of the hospital.

Something is very wrong with our statistic system. Hospitals report that their ER's are over-run with uninsured people and yet there are people out there who do not know they can't legally be turned away and have their hopes pinned on this political nightmare they call a health care bill.





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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. she could not afford COBRA
and her hubby is disabled but since he was in the military he gets to go to the VA hospital/doctors


she has NOTHING


she is going to check into social services to see if she qualifies for aid
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. COBRA is prohibitively expensive.
That's the way it was intended when the Republicans watered it down.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
33. I'm unemployed and my COBRA was $800/mo. for just me
Multiply that $800/mo. by the 150 employees my ex-employer has and it's easy to see one reason why that company is in financial trouble and had to lay off some, including myself. This is why we need single-payer health care. Insurance should not depend on one's employer or even on being employed.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
15. Glad she had the surgery though.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. me too...I had been trying to talk her into going to the DR for weeks
but she wouldn't go...no money

I truly believe had she not collapsed in a public place she would still be trying to live with it
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. These stories are why health care shouldn't be tied to the workplace.
Sure employers should pay something in taxes towards this, because they benefit from a healthy work force, but no one should be put in the position of when they get sick and are no longer able to do their job, that they lose their health care coverage because of it. Oh, btw COBRA sucks dollars if any one thinks that is a solution.
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
18. I am so glad she is okay
Ten years ago I was a single mother with two daughters. My oldest has diabetes and I was able to get her assistance but because I moved to a new state and made too much money ($8/hour) I was not eligible for low cost medical for my other daughter. My middle daughter suffered a seizure and I had no choice but to call an ambulance. On the way to the hospital she suffered a stroke. It took me months of red tape, begging, pleading, crying to anyone who would listen to get help for my daughter. I lost my car and had to move in with my parents because I could not pay my rent and buy groceries because she had to have her medicine or she would suffer another stroke or die. Thankfully rehabilitation has worked and she is able to cope with little assistance but no one should have to go through what we were forced through.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. I am so sorry your sister has become a victim of this.
I hope she is physically well now and recovering. I am very sorry she had to go though all of this.

I hope the hospital ends up writing off the costs without harassing her and setting collection agencies after her. :(

:hug:

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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. My mother died because she did have insurance.
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 05:17 PM by Greyhound
And not cheap prole insurance either, she had a so-called "top-tier" PPO. They denied her the test that woudl have revealed her cancer for a decade, instead they kept downgrading her doctor's orders to the much less effective, but far cheaper, scan that didn't show her cancer until it was too late.

She suffered for a decade and was written off as a hypochondriac until it had metastasized throughout her whole body and there was nothing that could be done.

Insurance companies are mass-murderers on a scale unmatched by any tyrant in history, yet they have defenders even here.
Edit for spelling
:kick: & R

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ThatsMyBarack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. If your sister can't possibly pay the outrageous bill....
I hope the corporate shitwipes that be don't send the bill collectors after her! :hide:
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. they can send all they want
but you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip
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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
24. Hopefully in your state a hospital cannot refuse emergency medical care.
And, naturally, that means everyone in your state is already paying for her healthcare...it's just not cost efficient. It's like waiting until your car breaks down due to lack of oil to change the oil.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. Please give your sister my best wishes!
This is the pattern that many Americans that are experiencing, yet the right continues to insist the only sick people that use the Emergency rooms are illegal immigrants.

I am glad your sister is okay.

I am so sick of these corporations, they intentionally let the older workers go to save money.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
30. It's not a good option - but maybe she should consider bankruptcy
it's our back up health insurance plan in the good ol' USA.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. they just did due to hubbys medical issues before he qualified for VA
they have been through the ringer


she is just about ready to let herself die to be done with it
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. I am truly sorry to hear that
I don't know that it will help her, but let her know than many people do care her situation and while we don't have a good way to help her we will send her positive thoughts.

It is just so wrong that this can happen to people and to someone who has worked all their life to be faced with it is somehow worse (having been part of an age-related lay off a few years ago I'm really sensitive to those).

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pengillian101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
34. Please check out the hospital's charity account.
The hospital's social worker can look into it for you. Rich folks donate so us poor folks can receive free care...

Honest, it happened to me. $8K hospital bill erased.

Good Lord - thanks for the rich folks.

I am now on MN HEALTHCARE state insurance and going into a major surgery next week. Monday I am mandated to MEDICARE because I have been disabled from a stroke 2 years ago.

Let's see how that works, eh?

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
35. First, my best wishes to her. Second, is she fighting to get health care for this country?
There are literally millions of stories like this.

The only thing that will change it is if all these millions of people TAKE ACTION!
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. we need to insist
on help
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