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Pancreas Cancer

Benefits+Medical Care was posted 11/29/2012 09:46 am by Anonymous
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Kate, I am sorry to learn of your FIL's seemingly limited access to informed health care providers for his PC and the limits on traveling for health care due to means. Given these facts as well as another younger child to raise, you and your fiance are probably wisest to try to just be sure you FIL is connected to the best resources in his area as your in-laws may have only up to dealing with the health care aspects.

It might be worth a trip to the closest SSA office for both of your in-lawas and your fiance or you who are more knowledgeable. Find out ahead of time the documents which are needed. I do know it will speed up the application process to have all health care doctors, hospitals with dates services etc. on hand AND full contact information on each. On benefits, if their total family financial resources except for house and car are no more than $3,000, then your FIL should be eligible for a total Cash Benefit of at least the minimum $700 (for 2012). So if his SSDI check is any less than that, he and MIL should both apply for Supplemental Security Insurance immediately.

On health care coverage, see how long he has been on SSDI, since after 24 months, he should automatically be eligible for Medicare which is health care for seniors. ***Due to limited resources both FIL and MIL should be eligible for Medicaid within one month of starting to get SSI. This health insurance could be their primary and when one gets Medicare, it sort of acts like a supplemental policy AND will pay for Medicare premiums and a lot of fees not covered by Medicare.Between the two health care should be covered or at least you could research what is covered. ****Also find out the process for a financial evaluation for Indigent Care or a Payment Assessment with the local hospital where further treatment would occur so they would know how payments would be handled.

I would also suggest that you get a copy of his MSK health file WITH a clearly defined Treatment Plan regimen and contact information for a local doctor with any questions with the doctor of record or nurse contact. Then one or both of you go with your FIL back to his local doctor to clearly review the treatment plan AND to get a start date or a clear answer from the doctor why he will not follow it. I assume this doctor is an oncologist - so if he/she is really so negative, is there another oncologist your FIL could move to at the hospital and start anew there? If not, then within the practice? At Stage IV and given his overall health, there may well be genuine reasons why there is a difference of opinion on treatment, but FIL and everyone must feel they are fully informed and not just a doc saying 'No.'. At the same time, he needs a good PCP to help him handle perhaps the side effects of treatment, including depression etc.

If you and your fiance live out of the area and only have limited time to assist, it is important to talk to perhaps local Dept. of Social Services, too, to see what other benefits your in-laws might qualify for which is perfectly suitable to help them out including: TANF with the minor child, Food Stamps (SNAP {program) and energy assistance. Also it is at least worth asking about any services under what is called the Elderly and Disabled Waiver for them for now or in the future if he declines. Finally, a comprehensive approach might also include learning about local Hospice programs so that if family support is needed in the future, one will know where to go. Options might be limited, but no one should feel he/she is just being turned away.



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*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
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