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I just don't know where to start...


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I've stared at this blank screen for quite awhile now... The words escape me... I guess I start from a happy moment.  Thanksgiving week was one of the best family gatherings we have all shared in a long while. It was full of food, family, love, and promises to get together again for Christmas. 

Fast forward a week, and the next Friday my Mother-In-Law (a long distance semi driver) was in Texas heading back to Florida.  She had begun to feel bad, and began coughing. Along with the cough came significant amounts of blood. Being the tough woman she is, she put her truck in drive and drove the 4oo plus miles back to Florida. She made it, safely. The following morning, after continuing to cough up blood, she went straight to the hospital.  Tests, tests, and more tests-she is told there are masses in her right lung and a mass on her thyroid.  From here is where things become a fog... 

Her health insurance was supposed to kick in on January 1, 2022-it will not.  She has applied for medical charity through the hospital and has been denied(today)-it seems they base it off of her last 3 months income. Like most of us, she has bills, and she does not have every penny she earned the last tax year or even 3 months... She has, up until a week ago, been paying for testing etc. out of her own pocket and to say that has been a major expense-is the understatement of the year.  Her funds have dwindled fast. They attempted to biopsy her lung last week, but there was too much blood to get a viable sample.  The last thing she was told was that they would retry, if she could pay for it or if her charity kicked in.  Neither of those two options, are an option. We are at a loss. 

I have no point of reference in this situation, and though it appears I've vented, I am reaching out for any information...  

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What a terrible situation your MIL is in.  Is she of an age where she can qualify for disability and SSI?  I'm not clear on why her health insurance won't be kicking in, is it because she isn't working?  My understanding has always been that hospitals first have a responsibility to treat patients and then work out payment.  Has she spoken to a hospital advocate.  Often issues like this can be worked out with that person's help.  

Others will likely join this post soon and someone may have better answers for you.  In the meantime, I looked up some of the Florida laws around treatment and financial ability and they can be found here.  Hopefully there will be some answers there for you.  I can only imagine how hard it is to get the diagnosis news and then have the financial situation on top of it.  Please check in here for other answers and my thoughts are for this situation to be worked out.


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Lou's idea of checking Florida resources for medical funding opportunities is a good one. Another venue is religious organizations in your MIL's home town (even if she is not a congregation member). Last, given her coughing blood, she'll like stage at IV. She should apply for SS disability income. Here is a blog on my journey applying for SS disability. But I was diagnosed at stage IIIB and my application journey was long and involved. Note the commenters who report how quickly stage IV applications are processed. 

Applications can be made on line and you can help her fill out the paperwork. That will solve the income problem but Medicare eligibility does not start till 24 months after the Administration approves her disability.

Stay the course.


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This is a horrible situation. First I would check with the American Cancer Society to see if they can offer assistance. If you've tried the hospital's charity program, I assume you've already talked with their social worker? Is there another hospital that she could apply to? 

I would also make an appeal to your MIL's health insurer and keep at it. Not knowing the company or why she was denied coverage, it's hard to know how best to proceed with that. I assume she's an independent contractor and not a union member? 

Another resource could be to start a GoFundMe, which could be effective. Local newspaper coverage could also prod the hospital to reverse their decision. 

I'm also wondering whether your MIL can now apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, since her insurance situation has changed. It's worth a call to your state's exchange. 

This is a heavy lift but I hope you can get some better news soon. 

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I just found out about this financial tool from someone in my Tagrisso FB group:

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (Copay) now open at CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation.

Please Note: Funding is limited, and disease fund statuses may change quickly. Assistance is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to each foundation’s criteria. Contact the listed foundation to learn more.

To view more information or manage your account, log in to FundFinder: https://bit.ly/2EsU2Ep


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