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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:37 PM
Original message
Need advice, please!
I have a friend in Iowa who has lung cancer. Her business exists in name only until sometime in May, when her accountant will finish up the necessary closing paperwork. She's collecting disability (which covers rent & utilities...she's usually out of food a few days before the next check shows up), sold her house and is now in an apartment. She has Blue Cross and they just raised her premium $300/month! Her quarterly insurance bill is now $3,000!!!

She's supposed to have another CT scan in 3 weeks, but there's no way she's going to be able to come up with the $800+ that she'll have to shell out BEFORE the procedure. She's also too young for Medicare and because she owns a 5 year old Mazda, she can't qualify for Medicaid. She refuses to give up her car because she's all alone and needs the car for doctor visits, food shopping, etc.

My question is directed to any Iowans or other people who've been in this dilemma....is there anything she can do, anyplace she can contact for some financial help? She goes to Wings of Hope for cancer counseling, so I suggested she talk to a social worker, if they have one on staff, who might be able to help guide her in the right direction. I also suggested she mail her bills to Rush Limbaugh and every other asswipe that insists anyone can get medical care in this country!!

Does anyone out there know of anything she could do? ANY AND ALL SUGGESTIONS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!! Thank you!!
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Have her call IOWA CARE and apply for benefits. Hope she wives near Iowa City.
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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you!
She lives in Council Bluffs. I'm in NJ and have no idea how close it is to Iowa City.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. She needs to "sell" her Mazda to a friend...
Make it legal, with a sale price that is not ridiculously low. The new owner needs to make sure the insurance policy covers anyone who drives it.
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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Clever...very clever
Thank you!!

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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Too late. It needed to have been done three years ago.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Um, what makes her think she can't get Medicaid because she owns a car?
That's not true. She can get a Medicaid carve out. She needs to go to cms.gov and get an online ombudsman to walk her through the process.

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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. She was told you can't have more than $2,000 in assets
and they said the car is worth more than $2,000. I've already e-mailed her the first two responses and will forward this along to her, too.

THANK YOU!!
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Who told her that?
Generally, it's $2K in cash, depending on the carve out and the state.

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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'll have to ask her
I'm pretty sure she's already contacted Medicare, but it could've been information she got from the hospital or doctor's office. I'll find out. I've already e-mailed her and said she needs to get the ombudsman to help her out with this.

I'm on cms.gov right now...there's TONS of info there. Thank you so much for the link!!
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Here's the thing.
Most social workers are not going to be forthcoming with information about what Medicaid covers/doesn't cover, mainly because they are overworked.

There are benefits out there for people that are not being taken advantage of because people don't know they exist. Also, check out her state's department of health link. There might be some resources there for her.

PM me if you need additional help. My husband is actually a nationally recognized expert on CMS coverage and he's forgotten what most of the talking heads there know. Seriously.
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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Thank you so much!
I'm forwarding these responses to her, so I'm waiting to hear back from her. She had said she's called the hospital social worker and left dozens of messages with no call back!

Yes, I'm going through some of what's on this CMS site and it's making me dizzy! I can see how people would have no idea where to even start with this stuff!!
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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. In California a car is exempt.
You have to have less than $2000 in assets but your primary residence and your car are exempt. Maybe check into that again? They state here that your car is exempt because you need it to get to and from medical appointments.

Good luck to your friend.



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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Thanks for the good wishes
I'm going to tell her to ask about that again. I've never understood that...how would they expect people to get back & forth to the doctor if they don't have a car? I have no idea about Iowa, but I know where I am in NJ, I couldn't get anywhere without a vehicle. Public transportation where I live doesn't exist.

Thanks again!
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Unfortunately, in a lot of states cars aren't exempt
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njlib Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Yes, it's crazy how everything can be so different from one state to another
Medicare/Medicaid are federal programs, aren't they? Why such a big discrepancy between states? Why wouldn't they all have the same rules & regulations?

She goes through nasty bouts of depression and I suggested she get a counselor in the very beginning. She had a hard time finding one, until she came across Wings of Hope. She loves her counselor there and is scheduled for a visit tomorrow. It's tough enough having cancer, but being all alone and broke just adds to the stress and feelings of despair. She's said on more than one occasion that if it wasn't for her two cats, she'd just give up.
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