How do patients do this?


Well-Known Member
I just got the summary from our mail order prescriptions for the month of February. TWO of my difficult child's medications were $500 for ONE month. Right now, my husband is employed and makes plenty to take care of this (our co-pay is MUCH less), but if husband were retired what would we do? What happens when he's eighteen (if he's not in college...hahahahha)? I know someone here has been in this situation and I'm just curious how it's handled.


New Member
THis is a big problem for many families. Even those who are not retired.
WHen I was working our employee health insurance one year the part we paid jumped from $200 per month to $900 per month, we made minimum wage!
Another time I worked a job that just before I left the health insurance premiums made a price increase so that me and several co workers did not GET a paycheck every 2 weeks, but rather a bill becuz our pay no longer covered our medical coverage.
Depending on assets, many people cannot get assistance for medications or docs etc.
IIRC my copy of AARP bulletin, maybe? (or maybe it was my local paper) this week said medical costs are the #1 cause of bankruptcy.

My husband now gets veterans benefits for 100% permanant and total combat related disability. It took us 10 years for those to kick in properly. Then we had to be at that rating for 2 years before we got our Champ VA medical coverage. I had gotten awarded my soc sec disability, but had to be on soc sec disability 2 years before Medicare kicks in. Our income was $20 per year over the income cutoff guidelines. Becuz my husband had been disabled in his prime, (and we had financially supported both his divorced parents before they died, and his 2 nephews and my one nephew) we had no savings, no retirement funds etc.
SO here we were 5 of us, here, 4 of us with disabilities. Even if I could have afforded private health insurance, the 4 of us were "uninsurable"
Our medication bill for the month at that time was over $5,000.
I simply could not do it. The downside was I did not get my medications, and I suffered worsening of my illness and irreversible damage in my body.

SInce that time prescription medication assistance is more common via the medication manufacturers. ANd more programs have come into existance.

Another sad reality is that it can be quite difficult to get in home help for older people who may have say a stroke but are not in a nursing home. It can also be a problem getting into a nursing home.
My mother and my best friend both (and myself for awhile and my husband) were dependant upon others for assistance with bathing dressing and feeding. My mom and my friend had pretty good private health insurance, did NOT cover bathing dressing and eating assistance. And the criteria for nursing home was quite rigid. THis meant those issues were left entirely up to the families.- which can pose a problem if a spouse must work or the children still also need care.

I am a nurse, and I worked in our county nursing home and later I did home health care. These are very common problems. It is very sad. ANd quite scary.
The good thing is becuz I am a nuse, I was able to provide what my mom and husband needed. I already new HOW to do it. BUT it got complicated becuz my mom and husband lived in different homes and I have 3 kids, 2 of whom are also disabled.
It all came to a head on me and clashed making me wish I could clone myself in Nov "05 when my husband landed in ICU in respiratory distress with sepsis in one hospital 90 mons one direction from home, my mom in her final hours with lung cancer spread to her brain in another hospital 90 mins a diff direction, and my son in yet another hospital 5 hours from home having 9 hour surgery on his poked out eye and me flaring from my Lupus and RA and my easy child and bipolar dtr at home, UG!


Well-Known Member
I had this problem with the medications. I lost insurance and simply couldnt afford them. I have no income, my husband isnt really my husband, he is a so, he has no insurance thru his job, he is a construction worker with seasonal work, he doesnt make as much money as people would think he would, he supports all of us as the single wage earner. We barely get by.

I simply have no income for doctors or medications. I ended up having to go on indigent programs. I go to county mental health and see them for free. I get my medications through whatever manufacturers programs are available. If there arent any available, then I have to decide if I can afford them. Luckily only the very cheap medications dont have a program. Well except for pain medications...they dont have a program either.


I happy to be very fortunate as I live near a large, teaching state hospital which has a pharmacy charity care plan as well as one for all other services. I recently had to sign up for all the charity care programs when my Medicaid fell out. But I am now getting $2 co-pays on all my medications. As Janet said, I can only get the ones they have and have had a bump in the road due to that, but I do know how lucky I am.

As to elderly not being able to get service nor into a nursing home...that's what medicaid waiver programs are for. Have you talked to the Medicaid office re getting such a person into the Medicaid waiver program for such services?

about your difficult child... at 18 your difficult child starts collecting SSI and uses Medicaid. Apparently it is suggested that you start the application before the 18th BD. If your husband retires prior to that, it's more tricky. Certainly the child would qualify for COBRA. I think the other post addresses this.


New Member
I do not need the services, to get a medicaide waiver, I know that I was working in the filed, thats how the problems went......and IL said they do not do medicaide waivers. So many many people here wound up in some very bad situations due to non coverage for help with things such as bathing and dressing. It has been a big issue for years.