Medical Insurance Needs When You Have A Serious Illness

by Guest Blogger on April 9, 2011

Dealing with health issues almost on a daily basis certainly makes me appreciate living where I do. Investigating another topic, I stumbled upon a link in a website outlining the different expenses a person with my type of cancer can expect to pay, depending on their home province. Not that a person wants to rely solely on the government’s insurance. Oh, reminder to self to be thankful for my husband’s employer’s outstanding medical insurance.

What Are Your Medical Insurance Needs When You’ve Got A Serious Illness?

Having a critical illness is tough enough just to remain positive and carry on with life the best we can. Worrying about finances along with everything else must be like adding another brick of concrete on top of already heavy shoulders.
I can still pay for my actual expenses, with a cash outlay for services of $10.00 (copay). My costs for prescriptions that need to be filled for my pills are less than $1.50. Now I look into the travel expenses I have to and from doctors’ appointments and treatments. That’s where the cost lies. That is just part of the price I pay for living in a peaceful, safe, rural setting. I love the quiet environment, appreciate the scenery, and enjoy living in a safe place with my family. As for health care, whether it is covered or not, it just isn’t accessible. Funny that I should spend time bragging about the system that within the same month, sees my family doctor leaving town for bigger and better places. Now if I have complications from treatment, I have no one to call other than my oncologist who is based at a location that is over a 2 hour drive away. I just try not to think about it. So far, that has worked for me.

Those of you reading this with your health intact, shouldn’t give into the thoughts of “it’ll never happen to me.” I’ve been there, thinking that I am still young (and at 44, I still think this way!) and healthy and nothing will ever change. Well, I am here to tell you that it can, maybe not to you, but perhaps to your spouse or children. And getting your ducks in a row before anything happens is so important. I can’t stress this enough.

Maybe you are like my adult step-daughter. Can you spell p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-o-r? I spell it Sara. Her 25th birthday present from us (her parents) was free extended health insurance. As a professional student and part time food server, she didn’t have employment benefits. So we thought that it would be important to get her coverage, especially those benefits that the government doesn’t cover. This includes dental, eye glasses, prescriptions, travel insurance, etc. Apparently, she never plans on getting new glasses or having her teeth checked again, because it is now December and she still hasn’t filled in the forms. Sound familiar?

If you can’t afford standard medical insurance, perhaps a discount health plan may be worth checking out.

Seriously, we learned our lesson given that we didn’t purchase critical illness insurance when I was younger. Because I have lived with chronic back pain that turned into surgery and benign tumors years ago, I have never qualified for critical illness and disability insurance. If I had applied when I was 25 instead of trying to pick it up when I was 35, I would now be reaping the benefits. I would now be cashing a check from a critical illness policy that would have paid me, once I had an aggressive cancer diagnosis. That money would have come in handy at a time when chemo and radiation treatments rule my schedule; leaving little time or energy for a 9 to 5 job.

No matter what your needs may be, map it out. Consider all the options, ask yourself the right questions, and assess your situation. Do you have sufficient health insurance coverage? Have you changed jobs? Is your new employment benefit package the same as what you had at your old job? Do you run a small business? What kind of coverage are you offering your family and your employees? Before you leave things any longer, learn from Sara’s and my procrastination.

Guest Contributor: Carol

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