Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Expensive to be Chronically Ill

A reader sent this question to me recently, and I need your help in answering:
"I was wondering if you can point me towards some site or groups that can help financial assistance with those afflicted with disease & that are on Medicare/SSN?"
There's no denying that becoming disabled from any disease or incident can be catastrophic not only to the body and soul, but also to the family finances. Being sick is expensive. Especially for the long term. Even though the assistance from Medicare and SSI is greatly needed, many times these amounts don't begin to cover some of the biggest expenses.

I would guess that varying services and programs exist depending on country, state and city in which the person resides. I did a preliminary search on Google, and found this interesting bit. Ms. Grahm makes a few good suggestions, especially enlisting the help of your doctor and a medical social worker:

Where to Begin: Finding Help During Chronic Illness by Michelle Grahm

  1. The first thing I recommend doing is talking to your doctors about your concerns.  Doctors can prescribe various services such as physical and occupational therapy.  Sometimes their recommendations are covered by your insurance company.  They can also put you in touch with medical social workers.  Which leads to #2.
  2. I have found that a knowledgeable MSW is your greatest resource during a health crisis.  A good social worker will recommend government assistance programs and provide applications to charitable organizations.  They should answer your questions, help you navigate the system, and become your advocate.  In fact, consulting with more than one medical social worker will increase your chances of finding all available programs and services.  For example, one social worker recommended a discount program to us at the hospital called CICP.  Another social worker submitted an application for Project Angel Heart, a nonprofit organization providing meals to cancer patients. Continue reading here..

Help us out, here people. Any suggestions?

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