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View Full Version : Need some medical and med insurance advice



SaintLouieWoman
07-15-2008, 11:27 PM
A friend called me this evening. Her daughter has no medical insurance and has an extremely large growth on her shoulder. She has a job, but medical insurance isn't provided with the job. She makes very little, probably $24k a year.

Everyone always says that anyone can get treated here, even w/o medical insurance. Does anyone have any idea of the best way for her to go about it?

Supposedly this lump has gotten bigger over the last 2 years. For the life of me I can't figure out why it wasn't looked at before. She said it now is getting red and itchy. I don't think it should wait any longer.

If she goes to the ER, she can't afford to pay and if she doesn't pay, her credit will be affected. Told her I'd call in the morning if I could think of anything.

I'm calling on the collective experience of the board for some ideas. Thanks in advance.

ralph wiggum
07-15-2008, 11:33 PM
Almost every hospital has a financial coordinator that will work with uninsured patients to set up a payment plan. Hopefully, the cost won't be astronomical. Sorry to hear about your friend's daughter, SLW. :(

lacarnut
07-15-2008, 11:35 PM
A friend called me this evening. Her daughter has no medical insurance and has an extremely large growth on her shoulder. She has a job, but medical insurance isn't provided with the job. She makes very little, probably $24k a year.

Everyone always says that anyone can get treated here, even w/o medical insurance. Does anyone have any idea of the best way for her to go about it?

Supposedly this lump has gotten bigger over the last 2 years. For the life of me I can't figure out why it wasn't looked at before. She said it now is getting red and itchy. I don't think it should wait any longer.

If she goes to the ER, she can't afford to pay and if she doesn't pay, her credit will be affected. Told her I'd call in the morning if I could think of anything.

I'm calling on the collective experience of the board for some ideas. Thanks in advance.

In Louisiana, we have charity hospitials for low or no income. The hospital will treat you but they will try to make you pay if you have income and will set up a payment plan. She might be better off going to a doctor first and go from there because admittance to an ER is damn expensive.

SaintLouieWoman
07-15-2008, 11:40 PM
In Louisiana, we have charity hospitials for low or no income. The hospital will treat you but they will try to make you pay if you have income and will set up a payment plan. She might be better off going to a doctor first and go from there because admittance to an ER is damn expensive.

Thanks, good idea. Then if a hospital is needed, which I'm sure it is, then the financial coordinator can be consulted.

Really, really appreciate it.

LibraryLady
07-15-2008, 11:54 PM
Define "extremely large". My family has a tendency to lipomas, fatty tumours under the skin. They are often on the shoulder. I have one on my arm right now the size of a malt ball. My cousin had one on his shoulder that became aggravated by his backpack and he had it removed.

I am not trying to diagnose but maybe that will give them a little information.

Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lipoma/DS00634)


Definition

A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty tumor situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. Often a lipoma is easy to identify because it moves readily with slight finger pressure. It's doughy to touch and usually not tender. You could have several that persist for years. Lipomas can occur at any age, but they're most often detected in middle age.

A lipoma isn't cancer and is usually harmless. Treatment generally isn't necessary, but if the lipoma is in a bothersome location, is painful or is growing, you should seek to have it removed.


Lipoma symptoms include:

* Location. A lipoma is a flattened lump located just under your skin. Lipomas often occur in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and thighs.
* Feel. A lipoma feels soft and doughy and moves easily with slight finger pressure.
* Size. Most often, lipomas remain small less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter but they can grow large, reaching more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.
* Pain. Lipomas can be painful if they grow and press on nearby nerves, or if they contain many blood vessels.

Zeus
07-15-2008, 11:58 PM
Check with the State or country Health and Human services commission (names vary by state). They are the folks that assist with getting food stamps,Medicare, medicaid, transportation assistance etc etc.

jendf
07-16-2008, 12:53 AM
Have you looked into urgent care facilities as opposed to an ER? They can be a little bit cheaper. It might not hurt to start there to at least get a diagnosis. Then maybe they can consider options if the lump has to be removed or whatever.

Are they members of a church? If they can swallow their pride and ask for help, maybe they can get assistance from there. I know churches I've attended in the past have helped with donations to offset some of the financial burden in situations like these.

I hope everything turns out okay.

Gingersnap
07-16-2008, 10:49 AM
Check with the State or country Health and Human services commission (names vary by state). They are the folks that assist with getting food stamps,Medicare, medicaid, transportation assistance etc etc.

Most states have a single number now that she can call to be connected to a huge number of services for low income people including low cost clinics. This or Jen's idea would be a better place to start rather than walking in to the nearest ER. She will get treated there but she will probably be referred to a low cost clinic anyway (since this isn't an emergency) and she will have to pay for the ER visit (ouch!).

LibraryLady
07-16-2008, 11:19 PM
Any news?


...........

BEG
07-16-2008, 11:29 PM
I didn't have health insurance when I had my stroke. Of course I was taken to the ER. They didn't ask about insurance until the day I was discharged but her case will be different because I basically came in the door not conscious. They will set up payment plans that she can afford but if she makes $24K maybe she will be considered indigent and only have to pay a small portion of the bill or they might write it off completely.

Others have given you great advice. At least you have a starting point. I wish your friend's daughter good luck.

SaintLouieWoman
07-17-2008, 12:47 AM
Any news?


...........

I believe that the County Health requires a copy of the income tax and a pay stub. They have a sliding scale of payment, so sure it won't cost much. However, I'm concerned about the quality of care. I'd try for an appointment with my doc, but her practice is almost closed.

SR and I were married in October---he's finally getting in to see her early next month. Good thing he's stayed well. I have no problems getting in myself. Once you're a patient, it's fine. It's just getting that first appointment that's tough.

My dentist also has a PhD and her husband works as a researcher for Barnes Hospital/Washington U. School of Medicine. I'm going to try to call her tomorrow and ask her for some advice. She's a wonderful friend, as well as a greyt dentist. I've gotten excellent referrals from her in the past.