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Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Medical bills, how do you manage?


01-02-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
nursejulieanne
 
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Medical bills, how do you manage?

We are drowning in medical bills! Since my daughter has been having her stomach problems I haven't been working and we are barely able to cover our basic bills, let alone all of the medical bills coming through! We have already had some sent to collections from my son and I don't want that to happen any more. part of me wants to put off testing her further due to this, but she is hurting so often I don't think that is the right answer either. Does anyone have any thoughts?
01-02-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
Devynnsmom
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I'm so sorry. I am in Canada, and we are VERY fortunate to have all of our medical bills covered. I can't imagine having to worry about medical bills on top of everything else. Can you get any kind of financial help from your State for medical bills? (((hugs))))
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Samantha, AKA Devynn's mom


Devynn (12 years old) was *unoficially* diagnosed with Crohn's disease in Dec 2009.
That diagnosis was changed to Ulcerative Colitis in Mar 2012.
Pentasa ASA Dec 2009-Mar 2012 (dosage tweaked a couple of times)
Mezavant Mar 2012- Nov 2012
Sulfasalazine-Nov 2012
01-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
my little penguin
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There are angel funds or free care funds at most children's hospitals designed to help.
Most states have insurance for children who have none even if the parents are working
There is medical assistance which depending on her dx she may qualify for regardless of income.
So call your children hospital or visit their website .
Look at your states dept of health website.
Talk to the financial dept at the children's hospital
Above all be honest with your child's doc explaining what you can afford - they may know the right people to talk to work with at the hospital

We are very lucky since we both work And my insurance covers 100%
Once we meet the deductible
Last job was 80/20 which cost us a lot .

Good luck
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DS - -Crohn's -Stelara -mtx-IVIG
01-02-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
Momto2girls
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We have lots of bills too -- we are covered 80/20. But our children's hospital was very willing to put us on a payment plan -- we only pay like $50/mo. There is no interest -- and while we'll be paying it until the end of time it does make it more manageable.

Honestly, though, that is a big hesitation in continuing trying to figure this out. Obviously I would never let my child suffer, but I also can't afford to scope her 4 times a year! That would come to $16,000.

Have you tried getting on a payment plan? Most places would rather do that then not get paid at all.
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Supermom to 2 girls: Little Girl (4) & Big Girl (7)

Little Girl: Undiagnosed (scope 4/12: non-specific inflammation in TI & colon, gastritis & h. pylori in stomach), Asthma, Food Allergies
Sulfasalazine, Miralax, Folic Acid, Zyrtec, inhalers
01-02-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
Jmrogers4
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We do the payment plan as well, just send whatever we can. Insurance covers most of Jack's but my hubby has horrible insurance - doesn't seem to cover anything and at $200-$300 every other month for labs and he is due for colonoscopy seems we just get it paid when another one pops up. He is also self employed so no work = no pay.
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Jacqui

Mom to Jack (18) dx Crohn's 2/2010
Vitamin D -2000mg
Remicade - started 1/9/14; 7.5ml/kg every 6 weeks
Centrum for Him teen multivitamin
Past meds: Imuran/Azathioprine; allopurinol; methotrexate; LDN; Prednisone; Apriso; Pentasa; EEN

Husband dx Crohn's 3/1993
currently none due to liver issues
01-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
Crohn's Mom
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Hi NurseJ,

Would you be willing to share which state you reside in? I would think we probably have member(s) here from wherever you are, and then could possibly provide some more specific information on what may be available in your area.

I wish you the best of luck!
We have been very fortunate with our current health insurance and the bills have been minimal in comparison.
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~T~
Mom to Gab (20)
DX: Crohn's 2/2010
and Austin (18)
DX: Crohn's 7/2013
01-02-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
Farmwife
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Yup, feel your pain!!!!

You've been given the same advice I would say.

I hope it gets better!
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I'm mom to............... Little Farm Girl 8 yr old
Ibd (microscopic)
(12/28/12),
dx Juvenile Arthritis
(12/13/13)
dx Erthema Nodosum
(8/13/14)
Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction
(10/14/13)
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome dx (1/26/17)
Remicade started on (9/8/14)Every 4 wks
Azathroprine started on 10/9/15
EN/EEN- since (1/12/13)
Past Meds- LDN, Humira, Pred, MTX, Sulfasalazine
01-02-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
Gingermom
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Walnut Creek, California
Hi - just found out that if we submit the medical bills for our son to Vanguard who holds my husbands 401k that they will send us the money to pay them without it being a loan or a withdrawal. I was very happy to hear that. I haven't tried it yet but am currently sitting on about $2k in bills We live in CA. And yes, I've made payment plan with most and am getting to where I know who sends the bills to collections quickest so I can tackle them first, sad to say but it's the truth.
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Gingermom
13 y/o son
Dx 10/12 EGID 12/12 CD 7/13 Arthritis
2 rounds prednisone
Curr meds: 75mg 6-MP, Colozal 750mg 3x day, Amitryptiline 25mg
Supplements: Lysine, probiotics, folic acid, supplements from NRT doc
Didn't work: Pentasa, Sulfasalazine
01-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #9
QueenGothel
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Depends on what state you live in. Here in Michigan we have Childrens Special Health Care. In California I found
http://www.lpfch.org/programs/cshcn/collaborative.html.
Don't know the requirements.

nursejulieanne let me know what state your in and I will look for you.
01-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #10
nursejulieanne
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Thank you all. We are in Oregon. I just tried applying for state healthcare, I figured what the hay! It couldn't hurt to try since I am currently paying out of pocket for private insurance. Then I called 2 hospitals and made payment plans. My kids go to Doernbecher so I called them and they are sending me applications for financial assistance for past and future bills. The clincher is they go off the past 3 months income, which of course isn't accurate since I am not working right now but did 2 months ago. SO, once I get the forms I have to wait a few months to send them in. BUT it looks like they will offer about a 40% discount on my husbands income alone. So that is positive! =) I wish I would have done that a long time ago......
01-02-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
Jmrogers4
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I know several kids in Oregon that Jack goes to camp with at Camp Oasis in Washington. It is a camp for kids with Crohn's and/or Colitis. So do you just pay what you can for the next couple of months and then do the financial assistance, does it apply to past balances?
01-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
QueenGothel
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Thank you all. We are in Oregon. I just tried applying for state healthcare, I figured what the hay! It couldn't hurt to try since I am currently paying out of pocket for private insurance. Then I called 2 hospitals and made payment plans. My kids go to Doernbecher so I called them and they are sending me applications for financial assistance for past and future bills. The clincher is they go off the past 3 months income, which of course isn't accurate since I am not working right now but did 2 months ago. SO, once I get the forms I have to wait a few months to send them in. BUT it looks like they will offer about a 40% discount on my husbands income alone. So that is positive! =) I wish I would have done that a long time ago......
Have you asked your GI about any secondary insurance you can pay for that covers the remainder? Ours is state funded but required the doctor to apply for it for us. Every state is different and they don't tell you the first or even third admit. I talked with a Social Worker during one of Rowans big stays. Try the too. I am on my way to the ER soon if things don't start happening over here so waiting for a BM. Possible obstruction. I'll be back soon hopefully!
01-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
nursejulieanne
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Have you asked your GI about any secondary insurance you can pay for that covers the remainder? Ours is state funded but required the doctor to apply for it for us. Every state is different and they don't tell you the first or even third admit. I talked with a Social Worker during one of Rowans big stays. Try the too. I am on my way to the ER soon if things don't start happening over here so waiting for a BM. Possible obstruction. I'll be back soon hopefully!
Oh, I am so sorry, I hope things turn out okay.......thank you for your support. My thoughts are with you and your little one.
01-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
kimmidwife
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I am glad to hear you started looking into it. Some state insurances are really great and even cover more then private insurances.
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Crohn's Dx'ed Sept 08
Allerg Imuran Sept 08
Fail Remicade Jan 09
Methotrex Oct 09-Aug 11
Pentasa stopped - nosebleeds
EENOct 31 - Nov 28th. Too hard!
Retried Remicade Dec 11
Stopped due 2 Anaphylactic Reaction
LDN Jan 2012-June 2014 Got My daughter back!
New secondary diagnosis: Gastroporesis Dec 2013
Lost remission June 2014
Started Entyvio April 2015. Decreased to every 4 weeks October 2015. Praying for remission.
01-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
nursejulieanne
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
I am glad to hear you started looking into it. Some state insurances are really great and even cover more then private insurances.
The private insurance for my daughter really doesn't cover much, but it was better than not having her covered at all. I have my 8 year old covered on a policy that costs twice as much since he has a long history of having medical problems so I needed to have really good coverage for him. Up until a few months ago, my daughter really didn't have many doctors appointments etc. now we are swimming in it!
01-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #16
System-X
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How old is your child? Your child should be able to get insurance from any insurer.

"In 2010, Obamacare made it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children under the age of 19 based on a pre-existing condition. In 2014, insurance companies cannot refuse to sell coverage or renew policies to anyone based on a pre-existing condition."

http://thanksobamacare.org/index.php?id=9
01-03-2013, 07:10 AM   #17
Dexky
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Sorry you're going through so much! Have you looked into Oregon's CHIP?

http://www.oregon.gov/oha/healthplan...its/schip.aspx

Don't know about your eligibility but it's worth a try.
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Mark, father of EJ

EJ dx w/ Crohn's 12/09
PSC 3/10

No more 6mp
Currently in the Humira Club
01-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #18
nursejulieanne
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
How old is your child? Your child should be able to get insurance from any insurer.

"In 2010, Obamacare made it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage to children under the age of 19 based on a pre-existing condition. In 2014, insurance companies cannot refuse to sell coverage or renew policies to anyone based on a pre-existing condition."

http://thanksobamacare.org/index.php?id=9
We can get insurance, my kids are covered, but it is basic coverage that doesn't cover a whole lot. We are left with a lot of bills after insurance pays.
01-03-2013, 11:19 PM   #19
System-X
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I guess you have to weigh the cost of the medical bills vs the deductible for a full plan @ max annual deductible + premium = $15,712/yr.
01-04-2013, 01:48 AM   #20
GutlessWonder86
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if you live in the states, there is something called uncompensated care for those who have no or really next to 0 insurance coverage. you go to the billing office/cashier's office and request a UCC form. ALL hospitals have funds set aside for those who have no or very little coverage.

Then fill out the paperwork and return it to the office. Based upon your income, you'd either be responsible for 1/2, 3/4, or none of the bills incurred at the hospital for ER, inpatient, surgeries, outpt, all tests, for an entire year. IF you don't qualify, most hospitals have what is called charity care but the rules are based upon income and if you do have insurance but can't afford payments.

good luck
01-04-2013, 06:11 AM   #21
Dexky
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I guess you have to weigh the cost of the medical bills vs the deductible for a full plan @ max annual deductible + premium = $15,712/yr.
Where'd you get these numbers? It's the first time I've seen them!!
01-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #22
System-X
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The plan I found was $10,000 deductible max (includes prescriptions) plus a monthly premium of about $475. Group Health around Seattle offered this package. Which is what I pay out of pocket.
01-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #23
Dexky
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I was hoping you meant that was part of the hc bill! With my son being on Humira, I would think that would be cheap for him in the future when he is no longer on my insurance. But you are certainly right, when compared to the med. bills that would be cheap Thanks!
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