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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Has Crohn's put you in debt?


06-16-2006, 12:24 PM   #1
btcrv
 
Has Crohn's put you in debt?

I know that the answer to that question is likely yes for a lot of people. I was just wondering the extent to which having Crohn's has wrecked your back account or credit score...

A few months before I was diagnosed with Crohn's, I bought a house. My credit score was so good, I didn't even have to do a full mortgage application and they gave me a great interest rate.

I am fighting with my insurance companies now regarding some bills I think they are responsible for and they think they aren't. Until all those are resolved I am over $100,000 in the hole

It pisses me off because I worked hard and passed up a lot of fun stuff to have good credit. Had I known this was going to happen and my credit was going to be sideswiped anyway, I would have splurged more all along.

I heard that medical bills is the #1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. I hope that doesn't happen to me...
06-16-2006, 03:46 PM   #2
Valentina
 
hope you get it sorted out and never have to file for bankrupcy. sounds extremely stressful, so take care of yourself, and try not to let it affect your health as well as your credit! fingers crossed for you.
06-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #3
Donna
 
Ohhhhh boy did it ever screw my life up in a big way!! Before I was diagnosed I was pregnant and having a severe flare (unknowingly with the flare). I lost my job 3 months into my pregnancy because I couldn't keep my pants clean and make it to work in time. So I was fired. Then, I couldn't get another job. No one wants to hire a pregnant woman. At the time I didn't even know I had Crohn's.

Then, hubby (then boyfriend) lost some miles with his job as a trucker. So we lost alot of money. I with no job, and his income almost in half. Sooo...I was paying COBRA for my insurance so I could have my baby without problems. I canceled the COBRA right after he was born. Little did I know. Hubby claimed bankruptcy, and so did I shortly after my son was born. Now our perfect credit (my credit score when I bought my car PRIOR to the bankruptcy was 810!!! Now it is 612)

I ended the COBRA after he was born. I went more than 67 days without insurance. Then, we got married on Jan 10. I aquired his insurance. However, shortly after that, I went into the hospital. Found out the insurance wasn't paying for that 10 day trip. Then, GI decided to try Remicade. I asked him to send a letter to the insurance co. They replied, yep, go ahead and give it to her. He even thought that meant it was ok. 3 treatments later, at $8000 each, insurance decided not to pay due to the pre-existing condition clause. So now, I am almost close to $75000 in debt. We fought it with a lawsuit, we lost. So now I have to pay all that money out of my pocket, little by little. The hospital took some off of it and I am almost done paying it off. And my GI is great and doesnt' pressure me as long as I attempt to make payments. So I can't complain there.

Now, I can't get a job. I have just been awarded full disability. And we are trying to buy a house, and finding that we each have a bankruptcy is ruining that.

So yeah. This disease has screwed me out of a social life. Screwed me out of being the mom I want to be. Being active. Being happy. And, it ruined any hope of ever owning anything.

My advice to you BT is to document EVERYTHING when you speak with your insurance company and those that are billing you. Write down times, dates, names (first and last if possible), conversation. EVERYTHING. And the more organized you are about it the better. You should have a fighting chance.

Good luck. We all need it!!
Donna
07-04-2006, 04:30 PM   #4
scottishgirl
 
i was the opposite, before crohns i had a lot of debt, didnt care about paying bills etc and once i was diagnosed i started taking care of things better, i now only buy what i can afford to pay for outright, ive payed all my debt off now and im happier for it. good luck with yours i wish you well x x
07-05-2006, 07:49 AM   #5
DannyB
 
I've never been a crazy nut with money but I can understand how easy it can be for crohns to put you into loads of debt. Hope you get things sorted out.
07-05-2006, 01:20 PM   #6
Kev
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada

My Support Groups:
Finances.... Funny the things you take for granted before you become ill, and the importance you place on them. I'm a 50 something computer geek, I was employed as the head of the IT department for a major corporation until I became ill. I was looking forward to retirement, possibly early retirement, and a modest house on a tropic island. Then, the shit hit the fan (literally). My employer was pretty good about it, kept me on the payroll until October 05... then let me go, but kept my health insurance paid up until this February
(that was when I had my last operation - just got under the knife under the wire).. now, I'm rapidly going thru my retirement savings, still sick, and being in my 50's and ill to boot, no one is beating a path to my door to offer a job. I can't get any financial assistance until my savings are totally depleted, and I could buy health insurance, but it won't cover any pre-existing conditions.. A 'catch 22' sort of thing. My last trip to the ER pointed out just how much health insurance is worth. Spent 12 hours in agony before I saw a doctor, she saw the guy in the next cubicle before she got to me. He had nothing, no health insurance, and from what I overheard, was in far worst shape than I. She told him they had no bed to offer him, merely gave him something for the pain and sent him on his way. Then she came to me, but I still had health insurance, so they admitted me and put me in a room... I often wonder whatever happened to that fellow, and when it will be my turn to be turfed out... As for money, I have cut out all of the extras, and realize that I will be in debt, but it doesnt' cost me any sleep. I just want to get better, and everything else doesn't matter... If I get better, then I'll find a way to pay off my debts... and if I don't get better, then they'll have to find a way to sneak a lawyer into heaven to sue me... Lotsa luck with that one, guys!!!
__________________
KEV

Dx'd July, 2006
Meds: Flagyl, Cipro, Pred, AZA.. to no effect
Low Dose Naltrexone Nov 2007 - May 2014
Remicade June 17th, 2014
07-09-2006, 08:23 AM   #7
mikeyarmo
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Sorry to hear about your situation Kev. I am glad that your are not allowing to affect you though too much. You have to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your health, and you just can't worry about the money involved.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you never need to be on the other side of the hospital memory you have.
07-09-2006, 09:29 PM   #8
btcrv
 
I don't really let the debt get to me either. I mean... its not like I could really pay it off anyway because I am a full time student. My friends jaws drop to the ground when I tell them about it but I can't lose sleep over it. I don't throw money away, but at the same time, I try to have some type of life.

Medical bills are different from credit cards anyway because they aren't acruing interest. If you speak with the place soon enough, you can get on a payment plan and it is not posted to your credit report.
07-12-2006, 10:52 PM   #9
plagueius
 
SO far so good. My insurance takes care of most of it. My credit already sucks due to a past relationship. Since then though all my credit cards are paid off. I spend only what I have available. I would give up all my material possesions fora cure though.
07-13-2006, 07:30 PM   #10
meowsie
 
plagueius said:
I would give up all my material possesions fora cure though.
Amen to that thought, my friend! Amen!
09-06-2006, 10:21 AM   #11
Skinsfan1229
 
Finances can be hard to deal with. I'm just glad I got accepted for Disability with Medicaid AND medicare, I dont pay a penny, no co-pays, not even prescriptions.

the thing is in the USA...if you go to a ER OR hospital I belive they CAN NOT turn it over to collections, only a doctors office can do this. That is why you see so many NOT severe people in the ER, they use them as a primary care doctor!

A lot of pharmacuetical companies offer free meds to people having financial hardships, I know centecor, the makers of Remicaid do.
09-07-2006, 01:35 AM   #12
GNC Crohn's Man
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As far as finaces are concerned they are both very good and very bad right now...
I'm 22 years old... Both of my parents are hard working upper middle class citizens that try to save as much money as they can...

I live with my brother, sister-in-law, and their 3 and a half year old niece... My brother knows how to save his money he makes and he knows how his wife happy and shopping without him going broke...

Right now I haven't able to work steadly since March of 06 when I had my second major abdominal surgery... That was ok... I had enough money saved up to pay rent bills and food for about 2 months... I started working again then in July I started to have flare ups again... I have been in and out (got released twice) this past month... I spent a grand total of 4 days at home...

Both lucky and unlucky for me is that it costs GNC nothing to keep me on the payroll... They pay by hour + commesion... Plus I could run the store blindfolded if I needed and they know it... GNC has a very very very high turnover rate.. Around 75% of all hired employees do not make it past the first 3 months of working at a GNC... Those that do stay tend to stay for a while (like me)...

My parents are currently able to pay for my food, rent to my brother, and my medcine bills.. Granted we get 80% back on most of the meds (BC/BS of Alabama)...

My only concern is that I'm still on my dad's insurance as a disabled dependent... Which I basicly am... I can not support myself finically on my own... But, my dad just got diagnosed with colon cancer.. The prognocess is less than 5 years of life left... At his present rate I would say 2 years..

I may seem morbid by talking about this but I will be glad when he passes on...
Right now he is not in a lot of pain and discomfort.. But all that could change very very quickly... And if it does I hope he doesn't fight it... Because I know he would be fighting it to make sure he could live long enough that I could get a stable job with full benefits..

I know it and he knows it if I don't have full insurance then their is a good chance that I will die due to lack of meds or by going to imcoptent doctors.... And no I will not rack up $100,000+ of medical debt just to stay alive... I have no girl friend and no one other than my brother to make me want to stay here on this earth as a slave to medical bills... Granted that might change in the future if I were to meet somone that I truely loved... But for now I would rather die than just work myself to death to buy meds that just allow me to work more and more and ever so slowly rot my heart and soul...

But I'm trying to get my health stable in the mean time and to get my own insurance and to get to where I can pay all my bills on my own... I want to do this for me but for most importatnly for my dad... I want my dad to die resting easy that I have a secure job and I will be able to be stable and secure without him...

And then he worries about my grandmother (his mother) who is in and out of the hospital almost every other week... I hope she passes away soon too... A parenet should never ever ever have to see thiri child die...

Well I think I just hijacked this thread sorry guys...

Maybe I I'll be able to sleep soon... Either that or will stay up 3.5 more hours and take my prednisone and then try to seelp again... I dunno..

Last edited by GNC Crohn's Man; 09-07-2006 at 01:39 AM.
09-07-2006, 01:54 AM   #13
GNC Crohn's Man
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A lot of pharmacuetical companies offer free meds to people having financial hardships, I know centecor, the makers of Remicaid do.
One thing you have to remember though is that Centocor will pay for the medicine but YOU have to pay for the IV treatment... That's like getting all your car parts for free but you still have to pay the mechanic.. Granted that does make a HUGE differnce in price...

The Remicade is about $8000 dollars a treatment... The labor coat of the IV, doc trip, and/or chemotherpy outpatient treatment you have to pay for out of pocket.. Unless you can work something out with that hospital... The labor cost is generally around $500+ around here... (Mobile, AL).... Granted paying $500 dollars every 2 months as opposed to $8000 every two months is a nice savings...
09-07-2006, 01:56 AM   #14
GNC Crohn's Man
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Also I have no clue what income level they will give you free meds at... Generally it is the middle class guy/girl that gets screwed... They don't make enough money to pay the medical bills but at the same time they are making too much money to be eligable for assitance programs like that..
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