Help with medical bills? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there any way to get help paying medical bills that aren't covered by insurance? We do qualify for WIC at the moment, and I may have to quit work once the twins are born, so we may qualify for more then. We get health insurance through DH's work, which we have to take, so we can't get any state medical assistance. Are there any other ways to get help?? We're on payment plans with most of them, and we probably will be forever, since it just keeps piling up with DH's health issues, and unexpected illnesses & injuries to the kids.

This is our only debt besides our mortgage, and it's drowning us. We have close to (if not more than) $10,000 in medical bills from the last 3 years alone, and it's bound to increase once I have the twins (there might be health issues with them, won't know until birth). There's several different hospitals & clinics involved, so it's not all owed at one place.

It ticks me off that these are "not-for-profit" hospitals, but it sure seems that they are by sucking us dry!






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#2 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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We've gotten help for our local hospital bills through their "free bed fund," which is actually a grant program that offers sliding scale financial aid based on income. I didn't think we'd qualify, but it turns out their sliding scale goes up to $121,000, so if you make less than that, you can get at least a percentage knocked off your bill. The application packet was fairly heinous -- lots of writing, lots of photocopying, providing lots of personal information. But it was worth it. It wouldn't hurt to ask any hospitals and clinics who've billed you if they have a similar program.

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#3 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Are you sure you can't get state medical assistance? I had my own private insurance yet qualified for state Medicaid while I was pregnant. When I had to see the dr, my dr clinic would bill my private insurance first and then it went to my medicaid. I thought for sure I wouldn't qualify, but b/c I was pregnant I did. I know it wouldn't take care of all your bills, but medicaid paid for all my bills 3 months back. Plus, my baby is covered now for a year on medicaid.

Sorry you are dealing with this.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Sumada View Post

Are you sure you can't get state medical assistance? I had my own private insurance yet qualified for state Medicaid while I was pregnant. When I had to see the dr, my dr clinic would bill my private insurance first and then it went to my medicaid. I thought for sure I wouldn't qualify, but b/c I was pregnant I did. I know it wouldn't take care of all your bills, but medicaid paid for all my bills 3 months back. Plus, my baby is covered now for a year on medicaid.

Sorry you are dealing with this.

I thought you couldn't get state assistance if you had private insurance, I will definitely apply now. The worst they could say is no. Wish I knew that a long time ago.

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#5 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Yes, my adult daughter is disabled and Medicaid is her secondary carrier since her dad and I still pay for her Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance.  Primary will be regular insurance and Medicaid is secondary....just be sure you go somewhere that actually takes them both.

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#6 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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Ask the hospital if they have a financial assistance program. Most public hospitals have one, though the qualifications vary. Also, most will work out a payment plan and/or reduce the cost of fees. Many would rather have you pay what you can than nothing, especially since they often eat the cost of care for the uninsured. The crummy thing is that the uninsured/under-insured often are charged at least 30% more than those with insurance plans, because big insurance companies have set costs they will pay.

If you have to, bankruptcy will clear medical costs *if* you were uninsured at the time of service. Sometimes the judge will also write off your portion of costs if you were insured but later lost your job.

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#7 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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I would definitely apply for medicaid.  For a family of 11, I am guessing you would qualify - since you'd have to make a ton of money not to.  I do know people who use medicaid/state insurance as a back-up to their employer sponsored or private insurance plans, but this may depend on the state you live in and what the rules are - or if you have to be uninsured for so long.

 

$10K in medical debt isn't that bad, IMO, since they will take payments.  As far as bankruptcy, since a PP mentioned it,  I personally wouldn't consider it for that small amount of debt, but regardless, as long as you meet the requirements income and asset wise, it doesn't matter whether or not you were insured or not at the time. It doesn't matter what your debt was accrued from - medical bills or a business that went under - it's all wiped away.  Except child support, tax debt, and student loans. 


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#8 of 8 Old 09-18-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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Our lawyer said differently, but I'm not an expert in bankruptcy. I wouldn't consider it for 10k in medical bills, but I don't know your financial situation aside from this. I would consider it a last ditch effort, since even filing for bankruptcy can be expensive. We are in a different situation - I am disabled, and DH lost his job.

Do apply for Medicare. The worst they can do is say no. It is pretty easy to apply, and in our area we were able to do the initial application online. We're currently in the process of waiting for approval for DD and DH. Even if your DH has a job, you may meet the income limits for assistance.

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