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Health Insurance before Diagnose

I was diagnosed a few weeks ago as + with HepC Antibody, and was told that I indeed have been exposed to the HepC Virus.  I am planning on going in for my test to see if I have the virus in me and what the count is.  Then I most likely will have to have a liver biopsy. I am pretty much planning on having HepC and not getting hopes up for the 20% chance that my body has gotten rid of it naturally. (I was never very good at Vegas odds anyhow)

I am independently employeed and I dont work at one place for very long, mainly working from home.  But the problem is I make decent money.  Not outrageous money... but more than enough money to put me well above the poverty %s that most of the assistance programs require.  But I am also at a level where expensive medical realities are going to hurt me financialy.

1.Should I get some kind of health plan or health insurance before I go in for this test?  So that way I will be able to absorb the costs of this thing if/when they find stuff out?

2.Is it possible to get some kind of health insurance after being diagnosed?  And not through a company but as an individual through a health plan?

3.Does anyone have any links about this kind of thing?

4.I know it depends on the state of my liver damage, but what kind of costs am I looking at.  What is a yearly ballpark cost (sans insurance) of average tx??  < not texas :) >

(rant:can we please have a govt. that provides med insurance for its working class citizens who arent poverty stricken?!?)
30 Responses
Avatar universal
kalio1 is right on getting the meds free. But having a liver bx. plus other test and doctors cost will not come cheap. Good luck to ya. As for getting insurance now, that might be a problem.
Avatar universal
Just so you know, in the state of florida anyway, the commitment to care program's cut-off for income is $68,000 for a family of four. I found myself in the same situation, no insurance/self-employed. Once you've tested positive for the antibody it's too late to get insurance. Commitment to Care is wonderful. It took 48 hours for me to get approval. (I over-nighted the application and they called the next afternoon to tell me the news!) They send the med's right to my house, a months supply at a time. I just started treatment Wednesday. I'm 1/48...
The hardest part is waiting but there are solutions and hope so find out what's going on and then ask the wonderful people here for support and knowledge. good luck to you.
Avatar universal
ohgreat- that's a pretty complex dilema. Find out if you have it first or get insurance somehow before knowing if you'll even need it for that. There's a few people on here seem pretty knowledgeable about insurance stuff, maybe they have some advice. I was in a similar spot but somehow all the stars lined up and I basically fell into coverage through a program in CT. There is probably a way for you though finding it will be the tricky part.

amirtracy- How's the first week going? Been lookin to hear from you.

Avatar universal
Treatment is VERY expensive to begin with and then during treatment the cost of the add on drugs (rescue drugs called Procrit or Neupogen and sleeping pills and antidepressants) all add in too.

Plus you will need weekly/monthly blood tests of different types.

I would DEFINITELY get some sort of insurance at all if possible.  If you qualify for any sort of state insurance program go for it.

I could not handle the cost of treatment on my own - even the cost of all of the deductibles is now starting to get to me.
Avatar universal
thanks for the advice friends...

"Once you've tested positive for the antibody it's too late to get insurance. "

is that the case for every insurer? Like Blue Cross Blue Shield?  because i did this.. http://www.ehealthinsurance.com and it didnt look that bad of a cost.  :(

shoot!  I new I should have got insurance before going to the stupid doctor to get a check up.

So does anyone have any guesstimates on what they paid for Biopsy? I am looking at another 220$ on next blood test.

why am i crying again now? i thought i got over that! i am such a wimp. :(
Avatar universal
My biopsy cost $1900. Florida Hospital discounts for people without insurance. Most do but you have to ask....
Avatar universal
hi strator! i sure hope you're doing well. Thanks for asking about me...it's been...okay. Not too bad. The first night was kinda sucky and the next day was achy and wierd. "behind the glass" feeling if you know what i mean. every now and then i get a little nauseous and light headed. but the good news is it's okay. i'm just glad to get started. you take care of yourself. i always look for your wisdom when i'm scanning this site. :) tracy

I found out i had hepc when i tried to get insurance. i was told and it might be different in different states, but i was told to forget trying. so i did and looked for other avenues. nygirl is right, there are other expenses to consider, labs and dr's visits,.. but there are programs for other meds if you need those too, so realistically if you make okay money it's not out of sight to treat. for me anyway. i wish you the best.
Avatar universal
Eisbein: Yes that was extremely rude.  I have had health insurance many times in my life and I have provided it for myself.  I even provided it for 4 of my employees and myself (WITH NO MATCHING!) before my business collapsed for reasons out of my control.  I have been working extremely hard all my life but lately I have had a lapse of money due to personal financial problems and have been struggling to get back on my feet.  While my yearly earnings are higher than poverty, I have 2k in the bank and my contract job(no benefits) ends in two weeks.  I appreciate you hoping I come back neg, but I dont appreciate your offhanded comments about me and insurance.  I come here for support not to be 'taught lessons'.

amirtracy: thanks for that valuable info.

Kalio1: Thanks for the link and kind words.  My clinic offers a discount card on mail in perscriptions and visits of about 25%. I am not enrolled but my clinic has been giving me those savings which helps.

Avatar universal
I don't have insurance because my restaurant business and my life savings dissapeared after 9/11. I found out i had hepc trying to get a new policy. I'm above the poverty line but don't make enough to afford these meds without assistance. That doesn't make me a bad person does it?
Avatar universal

Avatar universal
no one has lied to an insurance company, that is why I came here first.   P.S. The capslock light on your keyboard can be your friend.

thanks for all the advice.  glad to know i'm not the only one without insurance.  Not glad that people have come to conclusions about me (i.e. i am trying to scame my way into insurance at the last minute)

I probably won't be able to get insurance and I will have to deal with it.  Just like in life sometimes you have to deal with rude people.

Avatar universal
Insurance criteria for the self-employed is often defined by state regulation.

If you're lucky, your state may mandate the various insurers to cover pre-existing conditions with or without a waiting period, depending on how long your insurance lapse was.

There's often lots of 'hurry up and wait' in the normal tx process, so the potential wait period (sometimes only 6-months) may not affect you that much.

You should really get on the phone and call several of the larger insurers in your state -- ask about their programs for the self-insured -- and get the specific answers you need. Call anonymously if you feel more comfortable, although in the end it probably won't matter.  

As a back-up, both Shearing and Roache offer assistance programs that some report are quite flexible. And depending on your individual case history, you may even qualify for an appropriate trial.

Very few people can afford to pay for treatment out of their own pocket, but fortunately there are a lot of options available.

All the best luck and let us know how things work out.

-- Jim
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