What Obamacare Means For Mesothelioma Patients

It’s one of the most hotly controversial topics in America today, but Obamacare is also the law of the land. It’s critical for mesothelioma patients and their families to know how it will affect them.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or Obamacare) provides insurance coverage options to millions of Americans who are uninsured or unable to be insured currently. The bill is beneficial to mesothelioma patients who are currently uninsured because their illness is considered a preexisting condition.

The law makes it illegal for health insurance companies to turn customers away with preexisting conditions like mesothelioma. This will make it possible for patients to find mesothelioma specialists who are able to treat them.

The introduction of this new policy means people are required to be covered under a private health insurance, employer-based insurance, or a public plan like Medicare or Medicaid.

Under the act, insurers are no longer allowed to:

• Discontinue coverage for patients who receive dire a diagnosis
• Set annual and lifetime insurance caps
• Avoid providing easy-to-understand information for consumers

It was estimated that 20% of mesothelioma patients are uninsured. Medical bills for mesothelioma patients have ranged, on average, from $150,000 to $1 million. Uninsured patients pay their medical bills out of pocket or are forced to negotiate with the hospital on their own.

Alexis Kidd’s Experience

Survivor Alexis Kidd had healthcare when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, but unforeseen circumstances resulted in her losing her job and ultimately her insurance. Finding insurance was near impossible for her at this point because her cancer was considered a preexisting condition.

“When I first started looking for a policy for myself, it was truly demoralizing. Precious few companies would even let me buy into a policy,” Kidd explained as she recounted the experience. “One company wanted me to wait eight years before they would cover anything related to my cancer. And even then, because of my preexisting condition, I would pay a higher premium as well as have a higher deductible”

Kidd is also unable to qualify for financial assistance because her income is too high. This has resulted in not seeing an oncologist for over 4 years. Alexis now has access to healthcare that she hasn’t been able to afford.

She posted on Facebook:

“I just got off of the phone with a representative of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas. As of tomorrow morning, I will have health insurance again… after over four long years. Very soon I will get to take the first active steps towards finding out how my cancer has progressed… & to make sure the rest of me is healthy. I cannot properly express how grateful & excited I am… & terrified, too. It is going to be scary. But having the “option” to be proactive in regards to my health is truly a blessing. Because without insurance, the “option” just was not there.”

Other Care Options

Over 30% of all mesothelioma patients are U.S. Military veterans. The Veterans Administration Hospital provides healthcare to the veterans. Aside from the Affordable Healthcare Act, there are different ways that those who are uninsured can receive compensated treatment. Get free help filing a VA claim today.

Clinical trials are an option for most mesothelioma patients. Even though they may have to qualify for the study, the treatment is sometimes free and many research groups pay for travel and accommodations. There are some complications that may arise from clinical trials, but many patients have been successfully treated because of clinical trials. Learn about recruiting mesothelioma clinical trials.

Another option that mesothelioma patients have is to take advantage of legal options and available compensation. There are trust funds set up to help compensate mesothelioma patients who were exposed to asbestos. Companies who have knowingly exposed individuals to asbestos products have set up these trusts. There is over $30 billion in these funds, all set aside to mesothelioma patients. Find out if you are entitled to compensation from these trust funds today.

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    Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Andrew Devine

Andrew Devine is a contributing writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He has developed an interest in educating patients and their families on everything from new treatments to what to expect after diagnosis.