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Is there affordable insurance out there?

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  • Is there affordable insurance out there?

    Last June I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I underwent surgery followed by six weeks of radiation treatment. So far I have been clean after each doctor visit. At the time all this took place I was employed at Duke Energy Field Service which is a gas plant here in Carthage. Ever since my time off because of the surgeries managment has been asking all types of questions about my medical condition which they never seemed to care about before. Last May I was terminated for a mistake I made on my timesheet which everyone in the plant has done from time to time. Well since I am no longer employed by them my insurance has stopped. I didn't find out until a couple of weeks ago that there was a window of time for me to enroll in insurance on my own and needless to say I missed it. So far all the insurances I have checked with are outragously high ($400+ a month) or provide very little coverage. Is there an insurance out there that is halfway resonable with decent coverage for a former cancer patient? Like I said I have had greqt checkups for the lase 13 months but it seems all the insurance comapnies can say is "but you had cancer" . Well no joke! Of course how many of their policy holder have the same cancer right now and don't even know it? I didn't realize I had cancer even though I knew something was wrong for several months. I'm about to the point that if the cancer does come back I will just let it play itself out. I don't want to overload my family with tons of medical bills and right now I am a fulltme student and my wife is our only form of income. Any help would be very, very appreciated!

  • #2
    Nobody knows of any affordable decent insurance out there?


    • #3
      Unfortunately, "Affordable" heath insurance is really tough to find these days and it's only going to get worse.

      Since the availability of heath insurance varies from state to state, it would help if you post your location.

      I know here in CT, there is a low-buck company called Golden Rule that offers the most reasonably priced insurance but the coverage is very lean. I have Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Direct that my employer reimburses me for every month (I'm his only employee) and it runs about $500 month and we both think that's a deal.
      TC diagnosed 4/3/06, [email protected]; Left I/O 4/10/06; Stage IIa Non-Seminoma, 100% Yolk Sac; Started 4xEP 5/22/06 with [email protected]; Finshed 4xEP 8/11, AFP normal, CT scans clear! Now on surveillance


      • #4
        Before I lost my job I was covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield. I was very good insurance but when I checked on continuing the coverage on my on it was a little over $600 a month! Being a fulltime student now that was a little more than I could swing without selling one of the kids, of course who ever bought one would pay me to take them back within a week .

        I live in East Texas and the main thing I keep running into in is my age (42) and the fact I had cancer last year.

        Is there a time span for cancer that the insurance companies look at. I've heard something like five years?


        • #5
          Not sure about the time spans that insurance companies look for. I'm sure any decent agent could tell you that and I wouldn't be surprised if it varied widely from company to company.

          I hope you find something soon but $600/month really isn't too bad (yes, it's a lot of $$$!), especially if they will cover you right away.

          I don't know how I wouldn't have handled my situation without decent health insurance.
          TC diagnosed 4/3/06, [email protected]; Left I/O 4/10/06; Stage IIa Non-Seminoma, 100% Yolk Sac; Started 4xEP 5/22/06 with [email protected]; Finshed 4xEP 8/11, AFP normal, CT scans clear! Now on surveillance


          • #6
            If you're a full-time student, are you covered through your school? I think I had coverage through my school when I was a grad student, that might be worth checking out.


            • #7
              I feel very fortunate to have full medical coverage all paid for by my fiancee's
              employer. As well,my employer provides a prescription plan that covers all
              meds. Anyone that has gone through chemo,can truly appreciate that with the high cost of anti-nausea meds!

              Best Wishes
              Dec/04-Right I/O-nonseminoma (95%E/C),Stage 1, surveillance
              Nov/05- 2.2 cm lymph node= Stage II A
              Nov/05 -Jan/06-3 x BEP
              Jan/06 -Surveillance



              • #8
                When I lost my job in October 2005 I kept my insurance (Premera Blue Cross) thru COBRA at 285.00 a month. I had it till Jan 06 when I got hired by another company and was offered Blue Cross Blue Shield and they didn't have a pre-existing clause, (I did have proof of continous coverage for 2 years just in case). I Left that job in May and kept the insurance through COBRA again this time the rate is 385 a month. I am going to get full medical coverage from my current employer next month but I want to weigh their coverage compared to my current insurance. I don't have to pay anything out of my check for their insurance, so it isn't going to cost me more to keep two coverages. I am glad I switched insurances in Jan because my first employer went under and cancelled the insurance policy so if I hadn't lost my job I probably wouldn't have insurance. It pays to keep your insurance through Cobra. My last checkup in Seattle ran $3,600.00 and I only have to pay 69 dollars. I kind of feel like I making a car payment each month.
                Right I/O- 9/12/2005


                • #9
                  Have you check with your local DFACS agency, which is the children and family services dept? Around here sometimes families qualify for coverage based on income and with you mentioning that you are a student and you have children living off of just one income it's worth looking into. It would be something similar to Medicaid or Medicare and they usually have copays but do offer major medical coverage which is something I would definitely try and find too like you are doing. We have a $1500 deductible but were paying $600 + month for coverage before switching. I was much cheaper to pay the deductible and have a lower premium over the course of the year but we had to get used to the differences. Good luck, I know how difficult this part can be. April
                  Wesley's TC
                  90% Embryonal 10% Seminoma
                  Stage IIIa
                  Treatment: Left I/O 4/11/05
                  4XBEP 4/25/05
                  08/05 -Surveillance & Many Scans/X-rays


                  • #10
                    I'd give anything if I could qualify for coverage through the college but so far everyone has declined me because my wifes income is almost $100,000 a year. We've been making some adjustments but my salary was a little more than hers and it's taking a lot of changes to lower our monthly expenses. We sold our house at the first of the year which was to large for us anyway and had enough equity in it to almost pay off the house we're in now but now I need to unload my vehicle and find one cheaper and most of all better on gas. I drive 120 miles round trip each day 5 days a week to classes and at 8 to 10 mpg it eats up a chunk of our money, trying to find a motorcycle to save on that gas. Since it was only this year that I lost my job everyone is still looking at the income from last year and what we made the first of this year, next year it will show a huge drop. I did find one company today that offered a fairly decent coverage with a copay of $50 (big difference from my old $10 copay). They also offered medication coverage, dental, accidental death, eye care and emergency room coverage for $275 month fix rate. There are some catches in it but so far this one has beat every other offer and anything is great right now (any coverage is better than none).
                    I keep everyone posted on what I find out and if it turns out to be a good deal I post the information on here in case anyone else is looking for coverage.

                    Thanks for the replies and the help. I haven't been on the site for a while and had forgotten how much help and support everyone is. God Bless to all of you.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JRush
                      I'd give anything if I could qualify for coverage through the college but so far everyone has declined me because my wifes income is almost $100,000 a year.
                      You can't get spouse coverage under your wife's insurance?
                      Scott, [email protected]
                      right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since

                      Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!


                      • #12
                        I don't know about pre-existing conditions, but when my fiancee was completing her masters and quit working full time, she was able to buy a year's worth of catastrophic medical coverage for about $400 through the university. It didn't include checkups or meds, but would cover her if she was in an accident or got a life-threatening illness like cancer.

                        Is anything like that available at your school? Maybe your diagnosis would exclude you.
                        Right I/0 March 30, 2005
                        Left I/O April 20, 2005
                        Embryonal carcinoma, teratocarcinoma
                        Surveillance since May 19, 2005


                        • #13
                          Sorry about not getting back any quicker but school has been running me ragged!

                          We tried my wifes coverage but they declined me, gave a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. Our kids were on my policy when I was working so when my coverage stopped theirs did also but we were able to get them on my wifes plan.

                          I'm currently on three pain medications and two sleep medication which sometimes run over $400 a month depending on my pain level. I was in a motorcycle accident when I was 16 which fractured four vertabras in my back and tore three disc very bad, along with a few other broken bones. I raced motorcross until I was 26 when my doctor sujested I stop before the damage was to bad. In 2000 I was in an accident involving my race car, thought that sport would be easier on my body, which made the disc tear even more. I now have lower back pain and pain in both legs and that is the reason for the pain meds. Because of the pain I only sleep 3 to 4 hrs a night on a good night so I have to rely on sleep aids somenights so I can get some rest.

                          I am waiting on the package to come in the mail for the plan I signed up for. It's not insurance but a medical discount plan. It seems to have a lot of good points and includes eye care, dental, medication emergency room visits, hospital stays and doctor visits. As soon as I get the package I'll post more about the plan.


                          • #14
                            Have you tried ??? I have looked there in the past and they seem to have some decent rates.......
                            Moffitt Cancer Institute
                            CANCER SUCKS
                            Diagnosed/Left I/O 9/18/2004--Non-Seminoma/Stage IIIC--3X B.E.P chemo--3X T.I.P. Salvage chemo---Abdominal [email protected] 34cmX 24.5cmX 17.5cm---4/19/2005 --RPLND/Left Kidney,8 1/2lb Abdominal tumor,42 nodes removed---7/16/2005 Remission/Surveillance---Severe Peripheral Neuropathy--