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Hi Everyone,

Good News:

My dad ate his first real bit of food in 2months. He had 2 slices of turkey and a smidge of pie. I'm so happy that he can finally eat something besides Ensure. Dad is feeling stronger everyday.

Sad News:

My husband and I are in Southern California for Thanksgiving (with his sister and family) and recieved a phone call from his dad saying that the doctors are pretty sure that he has lung cancer, his x-rays showed a mass in his lower right lobe. He has also lost a tremendous amount of weight and doesn't have a lot of energy. He has an appointment on Monday to get a broncoscopy in Iowa City (which is clear across the other side of Iowa from where he lives). He has to go there because he has no health insurance. Can people w/out insurance still get treatment for cancer? I don't know anything about treatment for uninsured people because my dad has great insurance that covers everything. If anyone has any info please let me know.

We are all sad because it is bad enough having one person in your family w/ lung cancer, and now (most likely) two....both of our dads.

Well, I suppose we will have to wait and see.............

Happy Thanksgiving to All.....


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He has to go there because he has no health insurance. Can people w/out insurance still get treatment for cancer? I don't know anything about treatment for uninsured people because my dad has great insurance that covers everything. If anyone has any info please let me know.



I didn't have any insurance, my Primary Care Physician told me to quit my job and go on Medicaid and SS disability. So I did just that, I left my $10.00 an hour job and went to SS, they were extremely helpful when they learned that I had Lung Cancer, walked me through the interview that same day. They had me approved in under a week, I only get $552.00 a month for the first 6 months, then I will get $869.00 a month. But the pay off is that once I was accepted to Social Security, I was able to be put on Medicaid and that will pay for all my medical stuff, though they only cover what is considered standard care.

How ever, the oncologist had already managed to get my chemo drugs supplied free from the companies, which was good, because he wanted to do a higher level of chemo than was standard.

How will I survive on $552.00 a month? Well my Mom will help and the rest of my family. Fortunatly I am used to living on the edge, just one crises from disaster, so I will manage.

So that is what he will have to do, unless someone else has suggestions.


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I'm glad to hear that your dad finally started eating. My own mom has gone for about a week without eating anything, and it makes me think that she's on the verge of death. She can't keep anything down. Hopefully she'll start eating again soon, your post gives me hope.

Sorry to hear about your dad's brother, that's such a shame.

Take care.

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SSI, SSDI & Medicaid can help a lot, but you might not be aware of what they call the Medicaid spend down.

When I first got sick I got the SSI & decent Medicaid coverage, after the actual disability payments kicked in (I get 1147 a month for myself) I have to deal with my "spenddown" I don't recall the exact amount but if you get more then 400 something in SSDI everything over that counts as a spend down.

My spend down is $650 a month what that means is that each & every month I must incur at least $650 a month in medical bills before medicaid pays for anything.

It makes absolutely no sense to me that I was given disability benefits because I was dx'd with SCLC & it ended up costing me my decent medical coverage. Give me benefits because I'm sick, then take away my health coverage because I'm getting benefits.

I just keep telling myself if I end up back in treatment after this surgery that $650 a month is cheaper then the whole thing I guess. Although I may be financially ruined when I am healthy again.

Just wanted to point that out because no one warned me about it, a few weeks after I got my SSDI award letter I got hit with the news about the normal medicaid terminating and the "spenddown" it was very shocking and to say it was upsetting would be the understatement of the year.

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well thanks for the warning about the spend down thing, so if I understand you right, in May, when the SSDI kicks in, I will receive 897.00 to live on, but thanks to the spend down, I will have to spend 497 of that on my medical costs, before medicaid will pay any thing? and try to live on 400.00? Please tell me this isn't so, I live alone, and I can trim down some, but I cannot live on $400.00 a month! I hope I am misunderstanding you completely!

Well what can't be cured must be endured!


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I would also like to clarify something.. SSDI is federally funded program; SSI and Medicaid are State funded. So each state has different qualifications, etc that you must meet. SSD is of course based on your disablity and SSI and Medicaid on total household income.

For me in AL, Medicaid and SSI were a God send. Here they make your medicare payments (the monthly cost of insurance), some monthly income to equal out to a certain amt., also most co-payments to dr.'s and Medicaid is taking care of the drugs.. I only pay 1-3 dollars per prescription and $1 co-payment to drs other than cancer related. All cancer related expenses are paid for. Also, if you have no other income (including members of your household) there are other programs such as foodstamps, housing, etc. that you can qualify for.

Now with that said, I hear with the current bill that has passed.. all bets are off concerning Medicare and people on SSD. From what I understand and have read, Medicare would pickup the drugs, relieving medicaid of that.. however, they only will pay a small percentage unlike medicaid does for us. It's a good thing for seniors who are paying all of theirs now, but sad for us on disability.

Best bet is check with your local offices. It's like you have to know about the programs and pry the info out of them.. lol but it was worth it. Hope this helps a bit.


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bestbet, yes check with your local medicaid to know for sure if that is how your state works things, but from what I was able to gather when I was first hit with the spend down I thought that was the way it is for everyone, I hope in your case I'm wrong.

If you do have a spend down, you only get coverage after you "incur" medical bills in the amount of your spend down. Which means you just have to have the bills, not actually have paid them yet. If you don't incur (or just pay) the spend down for like 3 months in a row they cut you off, but as soon as you have bills its easy to get back on, it just means having to go back & sign up for it all again.

Thats what I ended up having to do at the end of Sept, was reapply, because I hadn't been recieving treatment or anything, until I started to have problems & required all the testing they did.

Like the other poster, SSI & medicaid saved my butt until I got my award letter (not the money mind you just the letter saying how much I would get) maybe I should have waited to turn the letter over to them but then again that probably would have gotten me into trouble too.

You have to be over 65, on dialysis or disabled for 2 years before you qualify for medicare. :(

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Glad your dad has a little of his appetite back! My dad was diagnosed two months after your dad and looks like they are having similiar treatment. My dad finished his three-day round of chemo the day before Thanksgiving but he also was able to eat some turkey and pie! He actually gained 2 pounds at his last visit. I'm so sorry you might have to deal with this terrible disease with another family member. We found out over the weekend that my mom's brother has also been diagnosed w/SCLC last week. Will keep your family in my prayers and we'll get through this!

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