Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Transplant Finances

Wow... Just read what I wrote the other night. I need to learn the concept of brevity!

Many of you have asked for an overview explanation of the fincial status of the transplant. My best and most honest answer is that I really don't know. What I believe to be correct, at this time and based on conversations with my health insurance company and Seattle Cancer Care Aliance, and with no party willing to put anything in writing, is as follows:

1. I am not required to pay anything up front to SCCA. Rather, any and all charges exceeding my insurance coverage will be billed to me at or after the services are rendered.

2. There is absolutely no way to know, or limit, what those charges may be.

3. I have raised enough money to cover my Seattle expenses, with the possible exception of hiring a caregiver.

I finally received the Benefit Coverage Booklet from Group Health and have had a Rep assigned to me to help me understand and navigate my coverage and out-of-pocket expenses. Also to our surprise, a new benefit year began October 1 so I now have a new co-pay rate, new co-insurance rate, a new deductible to be met, and a new annual max out of pocket.

In regards to what I may owe after the transplant, I have really struggled with this. It is quite possible I could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have struggled with how one acquires that level of debt knowing that it cannot be repaid. Yes, I understand that it's different than maxing a credit card with no intent/ability to pay. I get it that it's my life on the line. But ultimately I feel that I am still knowingly receiving services for which I have no ability to pay for.

My family, my friends, my doctors, my behavioral health team, my postman, and so on all have said "screw it" or similar. And I am not interested in being a martyr either. But the conflict remains that by doing this, I am willingly choosing to be a part of the problem. But I would rather be alive.

3 comments:

Rooster said...

Sally,

Set up a minimal amount 5, 10, 25 dollars a month what ever you can afford & never miss a payment, as long as you make that payment they cannot come after you. I am pretty certain that by law they are not allowed to deny you medical treatment check the hospitals patient bill of rights.
Good luck & keep the faith,
Rooster

Anonymous said...

Sally, please let the rest of us worry about trying to fix the screwed up health care system. You just go do what you have to do for yourself and for your husband and kids; don't worry about the cost and don't look back!

Jane said...

ditto on what anonymous said...really!!! stop worrying about it and concentrate ALL your energy on getting well and your beautiful family...we are ALL rooting for you!