Question for those without health insurance?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fibrohugslife, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    How do you do it?

    I am in California and I have tried to get Medi-Cal but since I am not considered disabled anywhere I cannot attain their services.

    So I am trying to figure what to do and where to go, as I am not able to afford much either.

    My state disability ran out last month, so I don't have a lot of money on hand to just up and go see a doctor.

    I am covered by the county of San Bernardino through their county hospital for basic care however I am not allowed to suggestion any medications or treatments.

    If I do they will kick me out of their program and I am not trying to lose that, even though it is not much.

    I thought about calling every medical place around to find out if they have sliding scale fees for their services but I have no energy to do that one and be on the phone.

    So please advise me where could I go for specialist? Is there an organization of specialists that do sliding scale fee work or low fees?

    Psychologists to talk to?

    I feel like I have reached the end of my walk here in trying to get help and I am not sure what else to do. I can't get medical help, and not married and do not have children.

    So please any advice you can give would be great.
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I noticed that our local Guthrie Clinic will treat low income people for free or much reduced. I think Virginia Mason out West do same. One could try the larger clinics and see what they offer.

    Many places have free clinics and give out meds for free too.

    It is a terrible shame that the richest country in the world has people who cannot afford health care. I just learned that 80% in NY State may be underinsured / uninsured.

    Our local paper just printed comparison charges. Some hospitals charged $26,000 fora hysterectomy whilst others charged under $2,000 - now that is the sort of disparity that needs addressing.

    I will pray you get help. My FIL pays for mine otherwise I would have none.

    Love Anne Cromwell

    ps I am a psychologist no longer with a licence as I did not renew it, but always willing to chat here if you post direct.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/29/2006]
  3. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Fibrohugs- I also have no insurance- Cannot qualify for medicaid or Family Health Plus in NYS cause my hub makes too much money(he is on SSD)- so I called some other plans but can't afford the premiums, plus they do not treat existing illnesses, etc. for 12 months- that is no good!!!

    So I have spoken to my therapist, she gave me a suggestion(now hon, I have been working on this off and on since Jan.) So tomorrow, I think I'm going to call the health dept. and see what the heck we can do- it takes the energy out of you and god knows we need all the energy we can conserve.

    Hang in there- gotta be something out there /this is the USA- and boy I'll tell how all these people can fall through the cracks really gets me fired up!!!!!

    I still am on all my meds, like Zoloft(pfizer, I get through the company- there is a 800#)- My Xanax out of pocket along with my flexeril and blood pressure meds. But
    I shopped around and found where I could get the cheapest -Walmart & K-mart.

    Don't give up I know its hard-
    Good Luck
  4. kat2002

    kat2002 New Member

    For medications, many pharmaceutical companies offer a free supply of their most popular prescription drugs to patients within certain income levels that have no health insurance coverage. Each company patient assistance program is different, but you can usually find information regarding them on the company website.

    Hope this was helpful,
  5. kriket

    kriket New Member

    and hope and pray that I have enough cash to pay for my meds. every month. I have to pay out of pocket expense on 6 different ones. Two of them are 100.00 each a month. They are making a killing on these meds. I just don't think it is right.

  6. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Some of the community clinics have sliding scale and will help you get the needed health care pretty affordably. Also, sometimes "specialists" are overrated. If you can find a good family practice MD, family nurse practitioner, or a PA .. you can get some pretty good care and possibly make a friend that will help you.

    As someone said, the drug companies that make medications sometimes have programs that help you get them at little or no cost. However, you have to go through a doctor and have them go to the doctor's office and pick them up there.

    I would just recommend that you keep looking into the community clinics, ask people where you live for recommendations.

    In addition, if you could get SSI, that would qualify you for Medi-Cal in California. You have to apply and be disabled. You stated that the state disability ran out. The fact that you were on state disability may help you obtain SSI.

    If you need counseling, try the county mental health clinic. They will either assist you or help you find something. There is also a crises hotline in your phone book if you need to speak with someone immediately. The phone book will have a lot of numbers and sources of help for you.
  7. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member


    I was denied for SSDI so I don't think I can apply for the SSI too? I got the letter today.

    I am going to have to hire an attorney to help me out. I will be calling one tomorrow.

    For the counseling part and getting a re-diagnosis of Depression, I will be going to the community clinics for that one.

    It is the medical part is the hardest part to get help with this illness. At times I wish I had something simple that more doctors knew about and how to treat but we can't choose the illnesses that we have.

    Anyway tomorrow I am going to request an appeals form to be send to me. In their letter it said that I can do it online so that is something that I may consider. However I rather consult with an attorney and make sure I get diagnosis of Depression and anxiety.

    I just feel so frustrated as I feel there is not so much help out there for those that are uninsured, it's like the haves and have nots. If you don't have it, you are alone in all of this.

    Anyway thank you all and please continue to post any advice that you have.

  8. millennia

    millennia New Member

    A lot of states offer free or low cost health insurance to people with limited incomes (such as those of us who don't work). In New York we have Family health plus. I'm not sure about California, but I found this site I hope I can post that, since it's not selling anything. If you fill out the survey on it, they will tell you what programs you are eligible for and that sort of thing.

    I would suggest that anyone here without health insurance go to Google (or whatever search engine you like) and type in your state and free or low cost health insurance. I went years without insurance because I thought medicaid was the only option and figured I wasn't eligible for anything. You might not be eligible, but you might be surprised. It can't hurt to look, but it can really help.
  9. TxSongBird

    TxSongBird New Member

    who either can't get coverage because of pre-existing conditions or self employment is a plan that is running $990.00 per month for three of us with a $5,000 yearly deductible on each person. There is no such thing as a helping hand when it comes to health care for people who make too much, but can't get any coverage due to medical conditions. We have no free county help here and no hospital that is considered a county hospital so a hospital can actually ask you to leave and refuse treatment,unless you come in from trauma.

  10. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    Good suggestion.

    I just wanted to add that in my state, Pennsylvania, they have a program for families that make $40,000 or less.

    Problem is, the waiting list is SO long it would take at least 2 years before I could get coverage!!

    I get SO ANGRY with our health "care" system!
    Where's the CARE???

  11. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Well I worked on some more leads and they lead me back to the beginning which I don't qualify for them- I started going into a panick attack- did the breathing called and left a message for my therapist- took a xanax and calmed down- IT is totally frustrating- I told my hub- I should divorce you and we should live together- only kiddin'- But where the heck do you get help????

    My therapist called back, I was calmer but sad- she gave me a man to call next week(holidays here I guess) too numb to think about it- BUT no wonder people become homeless and such- SAD, SAD- but when I get energy I'll try again...

    Bless you all
    God - please help us all get some help..

  12. millennia

    millennia New Member

    You made the joke about getting divorce for health insurance, well I've put off getting married for it. If my boyfriend and I got married our income would be too high to qualify for it. It is really frustrating. I see that you live in NY, I'm not sure where Leroy is. In the city we have family health plus and healthy families. Do you know if either one of those are available near you?
  13. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Hi there, yes I checked out both of them and hub makes too much money, he is on SSD and some disab. from the VA. SOOOO
    back to square one.

    Healthy NY is another one- premiums are too high and they do not cover existing for up to 12 mths. we live between Buffalo and Rochester-

    Thanks for the assistance really appreciate at it. My next step may be writing to the governor. gotta get my nerve up first...

  14. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    Thanks for the site and looked it up and it is the same things that I don't qualify for unfortunately.

    I need to either have a kid or be an illegal alien so since I have neither going on I am essentially screwed.

    I have applied to health insurance companies and got turned down and referred to the California High Risk group but the prices for the premuims are so expensive.

    I even called a place that a fellow member on here suggested but they don't have a sliding scale fee.

    So I just continue to hang in and there and maybe in court of years they will approved of a good facility.
  15. millennia

    millennia New Member

    So sorry you can't find anything. Everyone should have health care, it's cray that in this day and age we should have to go through this.
  16. kirschbaum26

    kirschbaum26 New Member

    Dear Fibrohugslife:

    My mother was able to get excellent care from the County of Los Angeles during the 2 years she had to wait for her medicare to start after she was approved by SSDI. If San Bernadino County does not provide free or lowcare medical and mental health programs for its citizens, I wonder if you can look into LA county.

    For instance, my mother, who is bi-polar and has a LONG history of mental health challenges, was covered for all of her mental health meds, and treatment (MD and social worker) for just $75.00 per YEAR. She also had medical coverage, and while I will tell you that it was not as good as it could have been, it was certainly acceptable. She did have some medical issues, and while some were related to the meds she has to take for bi-polar and other issues, some were not.

    Not sure where you are on qualifying for medical, but she was able to do so, even now that she is covered by medicare. She has Kaiser, and I must say that she has received EXCELLENT care from them for the past 10 years. She has a long list of medical problems, and they have worked tirelessly to help her resolve the issues, or learn to live with them.

    If you are running into roadblocks, I would suggest that you contact every social worker you can find through any of the hospitals that treat low income patients. Teaching hospitals are also very good. I think that in order to get the free medicines from different drug companies you sometimes have to have a doctor who is willing to distribute the meds to you. I know that we looked into it for my mom, when her serequel was suddenly removed from her formulary...and we were looking at paying $400 per MONTH for the one med. She currently take 15 different much fun.

    Good luck to you. I would find an attorney to help you with your SSDI claim. Also, in California, I believe that once your 12 months of LTD are used up, you can return to work (if you can) and then become eligible again after 3 months of working (not sure about this, so I would check if I were you).

    Do you have a good PCP? Have you ever had one? If so, they might also have some ideas for you about how to proceed. When you said that you cannot get medical because you are not disabled, I believe that medical is for ANYONE who does not make any money, or have any assets. There is also SSI, which you might be able to qualify for you if you are disabled. If you were getting state disability for a year, you would be considered disabled. You might want to try that route as well.

    One more suggestion, do you have any brothers, sisters, mother, father, etc., who might be able to add you to their insurance as a "sponsored dependent". We now have this ability through my company. The benefits are that the rate is based on a much larger subscription base, so that the costs are relatively low. Just something to think about.

    Good luck to you.

  17. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    did you apply for medi-cal? all you need is a dr. not stating you ar disabled...and if your income allows it...i don'tunderstand why you don't quaify just because your sdi ran yo should qualify for even stamps general assist and medica...unless you have over 2 or 3 thousnd dollars in the bank...take it out to qualify...spend down...

  18. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    I felt the need to express a little more about myself and what I have been through and tried so that you have a little more of an idea of where I am coming from.

    I broke my looong message up in three sections so that it will not be so long for you to read. I hope this helps everyone out. I wish this message board had a little more too help out with spacing, etc. But those are the little things. This message board is a savior to me. God led me here.

    I live in San Bernardino county and how I wish I live in LA County somewhat--I would have to go to county USC which FAR away and no guarantee I would be seen by a doctor. I used to work for USC many many years ago and oh my gosh that hospital is horrible. Standing room only every day. You would be LUCKY to be seen that day.

    I have been trying to go to LA County for help for years but they refer me right back to San Bernardino county.

    I think back in the day when the healthcare situation was not so bad they were able to take anyone but now that things have gotten so out of control with the healthcare system, you now have to stay within your own county.

    Now they are getting stricter and stricter with their rules. Low income patients type of facilities are now making everyone pay, you need to have some sort insurance to pay for the services.

    I see a place that I have been going to since January that is sliding scale fee but it is about an hour drive to go there (granted there is no traffic). The doctor I have is so nice and I feel blessed to have her right now.

    I would have to be toooooo creative to get help in a different county, and well I do not care to dive into that stuff. I believe that Karma will come around and give me a worse illness LOL. So yea I rather not go that route.

    If you see from my picture I am not elderly I am 29 going on 30 in about 10 days or so. So at my age it gets a little difficult to get help. I have been having this trouble since I got ill with this illness. So yes the 7 year itch!

    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
  19. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    The problem I had with county in getting food stamps and stuff like that is because I live with my family already. So although I don't have any income, they consider the income of the entire family in the household, so basically I would never qualify for anything, believe me I have tried a few times. They have my file, and it is thick LOL.

    If I lived on my own then I would qualify. So my folks will retire next year and they will be moving away and I will be moving but staying in California, so I may qualify BUT I don't know where in California I will be.

    So applying gets a little tricky and I don't like to lie just to get this or that.

    I got denied for SSDI, so I am not sure if I can apply for SSI now but will call a social worker this week, hopefully they know their job and can help me.

    I will be trying to see a counselor this week to get help with my mood (even though I am on an anti-depressant), I think there is something more wrong with me and I have had panic attacks too often. My mental seems to be suffering now too because of these physical illnesses I have. I am going to see an attorney about the SSDI stuff though that specializes in disability cases.

    The hospital that I was able to get care from is the Arrowhead Regional Hospital which is the county hospital mecca for everyone in the Inland Empire communities. There are cities I have never heard of and they travel far like me or further than me to travel there, to get any help they can get.

    I looked into Loma Linda and aww man a further drive LOL and between my folks and I the drive is too far. I mean I am willing to do everything for my health. I will tackle these places after my vacation.

    I am due to visiting the county soon for an appt with the pain clinic, and it will be refill meds city there too, so that means I will be there allllll day. Last time I was there for 6 hours between my appointment,taking blood tests and waiting for my prescriptions.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2006]
  20. fibrohugslife

    fibrohugslife New Member

    From my appointment at the pain clinic, to get prescriptions filled takes over 2 hours to be done. For me to drive all the way back there to pick up takes too much and gas prices are high over here.

    I have a PCP through them BUT they don't listen to a word I say.It is not even the PCP I saw, it was like another doctor or student doctor, so I don't bother with trying to make them listen. They just want to refer me all over as long as they don't have to deal with me.

    Now with the hospital I was able to sign up with their healthcare program BUT I cannot suggest any additional treatments, meds, etc. If I do they will take me off the program and I cannot have that happen.

    For Medi-Cal I will double check on that, and talk with the doctor I have been seeing (that listens to me) but if I have to go to the diagnosing doctor then forget it I will not be able get him to cooperate.

    He messed it up so much stuff for me in not supporting anything that I need from disability and all. I turned mean and I had to get a little Git-r-done with him when I applied for state disability and he complied FINALLY.

    He never complied for anything else because I added him to my bankruptcy last year so he would not help me anymore. I had to file, no choice, can't work, had bills up to the wazoos, medical bills, etc, so I had not choice to fill.

    I can't work anymore at all, and it would not matter what job, I can't do it, and that really breaks my heart.
    If I could work, I would be doing it already. It cracks me up that I have no debt and I can't work and save up my money. LOL.

    Thank you everyone.

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