Question about medicare

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by smileyfacecookie, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. smileyfacecookie

    smileyfacecookie New Member

    I have just recieved my disability and by the time they docked me a year and then another 5 months my medicare does not start till Dec. of 2006. My bill collectors are driving me nuts. Now I cannot turn the bills into medicare for another year. Has anyone out there went threw this problem and how do you handle the bills..Not pay them and wait or pay a little on them and explain to them what happened? I would appreciate any input.Thanks.
  2. chickadee

    chickadee New Member

    If it were me, I would contact my county's department of social services and ask if there is help available through Medicaid to help with medical bills that I cannot pay.

    In other words, I would make every effort to get Medical bills paid. If Medicaid can not help you and you are able to pay a little at a time, then I would do that so that they know you are trying.

    Good Luck to you.
    Chickadee
  3. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member


    I'd advise you to requestion this as if you qualify for Medicare, you qualify NOW, not in 12 months surely. See if there is anyone in your area that does pro bono work for people of disability. Also some states will pick up bills and have other programs for lower income. It just does not sound right-they make tons of mistakes at Medicare as the people who work there don't understand the complicated rules either. They are supposed to backdate aren't they?

    Cromwell
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    First of all, congratulations on receiving your SSDI!

    I know when I was first granted SSDI, I had to wait 2 years before receiving Medicare. I was lucky that I had retiree medical coverage from my employer. Then, when I became eligible for Medicare, my employer's coverage became my secondary insurer.

    How do you handle your bills now? "Not pay them and wait, or pay a little on them and explain to them what happened?"

    Well, to NOT pay them is certainly not an option! So, unless you can obtain help from different social agencies in your town, you will need to contact each place where you owe a bill and explain that you have no insurance coverage and ASK IF THEY CAN LOWER THEIR CHARGES, and that you will pay what you can each month (even if it's only $5) until you get your bill payed off.

    I know some places WILL lower their charges for you if they know you have no insurance. I think this is due to the fact that most places overbill to begin with in order to get the amount of money they want from the insurance companies--since the ins. co.'s never pay 100%.

    When my son was out of college and looking for a job, he had no insurance coverage (we were slow on getting him his own policy). He had an extreme allergic reaction to something and had to go to the ER. Of course, they had to run all types of lab work, etc.

    When he got his bill, the charges totalled nearly $600 or $700! Of course, he had no job and no funds to cover it, and I did NOT want to pay it for him, but I knew in the long run that I might have to.

    So, I wrote a letter to the hospital billing dept. informing them that he was just out of college and had not found a job yet, had no insurance, etc. I told them he was no longer our responsibility and he had no money. I asked if they could negotiate his bill down to the amount they would have charged Medicaid as if he had had Medicaid coverage. (I wrote this letter FOR HIM and wrote it like he was the one talking ... not me.)

    They replied and said they could not "charge him the Medicaid rate" since he did not have that coverage, but they would make a settlement for $340. I think they even then gave him the option to pay it off in payments. I just wanted to get rid of the hassle and went ahead and paid it for him. But ..... what I am trying to say is ... that the SOME hospitals and doctors' offices WILL WORK WITH YOU. All you have to do is call them.

    But prior to doing all of that, check with your welfare dept./social services agency and ask them if your town has any agencies that will help you pay off your bills.

    Then, until you receive your Medicare, you might be eligible for some type of Medicaid card. See what they have to offer you.

    Good luck, dear.

    Hugs,
    Janet
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You have to claim a date of disability when you were no longer able to work. You are eligible for SSD benefits five months past that date. You are eligible for Medicare twenty-four months after your eligibility date. In other words, twenty-nine months following the date of disability.

    You cannot retroactively bill Medicare for any services performed before that twenty-nine month period. It took me three years to get approved. I was told I could retroactively bill Medicare back to that date when I would have been eligible for Medicare to kick in but nothing prior to that date.

    Hope this helps.

    Love, Mikie