Not old enough for Medicare and going broke with company insurance

Posted by jojo58 @jojo58, Aug 28 8:48pm

I have all kinds of problems with my lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine. Right now I am dealing with severe stenosis and bulging disc C2-C3. Occipital neuralgia is a kick in the head. I live with my son and his family. I’m caregiver to my two grandsons, 7 and 10 months. I also work full time. This grocery store is known not to pay much but if you start tomorrow you would probably make $2.00 or $3.00 more than me. Anywho, I’m going broke with having to pay co-pays for different specialists. I have to pay $2,500 to have the surgery to fix this with no guarantee of full pain relief. I also need dental work before the surgery. Same deal there. I’m 60 and I can’t afford all this. My parents did say they would pay the upfront for surgery. Is anyone else in this same boat? Sometime after or during Covid something changed. Somebody is getting rich while I go broke. Any suggestions or just opinions welcome 🙏

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aging Well group.

I understand your situation. I was actually happy to turn 65 to be eligible for Medicare and stop paying outrageous insurance premiums. Unfortunately, Medicare does not solve all medical cost problems.

I would check if your state has any Medical assistance / Medicaid program you might qualify for. My sister had a company health insurance that did not provide enough coverage especially for medication. Even though she was working, because her income was so low she was able to qualify for medical assistance.

Check with your state / county assistance offices. Many states have a service called “211” . By dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

Laurie

REPLY

Laurie, there’s a catch to being on Medicaid. I’m in Pennsylvania in Hud Section 8 Housing. My health is a nightmare, my finances are rock bottom. This is a high rise building with 100 apartments. It was originally built for the elderly in 1976. As times changed, so did the requirements. At first, you had to be 65 or older, then laws changed and you qualified if you were medically handicapped and less than 65. Then it was lowered to above 42 I believe and handicapped. Income is also factored in and any resources you may own. Your income determines the amount you’ll pay. The income limits are high enough almost anyone 42 or above and handicapped will qualify. I’ll turn 80 next year, if I live long enough. My income is just Social Security. I had to laugh when I filled out the application. Low income amount was way above me, Very low income level was still above my income, Critically low level was still $3000 above me. Am I poor, yep, but I have my own apartment and pay only 30% of my adjusted income for rent. The state pays for the rest of my rent. My utilities are also included except phone and TV connection.

Because I am so poor and sickly with many major health problems including my entire spine. I smashed two different windshields with my forehead compressing my spine. My neck, between the shoulder blades snd lower lumbar discs are all screwed up. Since my body is such a mess with many heart, kidney and blood troubles, I’m on our Medicaid program including food stamps. I pay no medical bills, pay $1.30 per prescription and living off other people’s generosity. But I started working in 1952 at age 9 and retired in 2006 at 62.

So my advice to you is prepare to live a life that is very restricted if you want the government to help you. There’s help out here for you but it comes with many restrictions. If you’re ready for the government to control your life, tell you what you can or cannot do, pack your bags, nothing else. You can start a new life and apply for your state’s Medicaid or equivalent system as a Handicapped applicant under 65.

REPLY

ahh @becky1024 just opening up connect site and happened to see your comment above not even going back to find out subject but agree such a difference living a life with little/little/fixed income. I am senior and when raising two children after divorce was working in an office and barely making ends meet…i could have applied for what used to be called in Canada 'Mothers' Allowance" but decided to keep my job and not 'enter the system"…was hand me down clothes for us all, yard sales, no holidays old car too old to use in winter so city bus , standing in minus 20C while coworkers drove by…. been there, done that; one thing grateful for was our basically free health system. However, I did hear horror stories of those on what they called welfare, mothers allowance, disability pensions etc. being treated badly or differently – labelled! And what is ahead now – even our medial system going down the drain since Covid and people finding they can work from home, but what surprised me is a recent poll asking how many of the public would be interested in working in the health field and it was appallingly low… what??? People no longer wish to look after sick/ill people… well who is going to help those of us who need medical help in the future..or a member of our family……quite scary. Solution? oh and rent-geared-to-income is available here but a very poor family can move into a home; win ten million dollars; or get a good paying job; but are not asked to leave the housing… for various reasons… so waiting lists are extremely long and become permanent housing as market rent too high, plus month later could lose job, even lose money, and would be back on waiting list…when i was raised in uk had been in poor house after War then parents got a municipal all the same rent semi detached house and my mum and dad were over the moon, finally a decent home and garden, made the world of difference and always grateful for that. Both parents worked at low paying jobs but affordable rent, no extras but after the war majority working class no extras but I have no idea how 'disabled,' or singles; or people on government funds existed… still better than many other countries we see on tv etc., but still too many people needing a roof over their heads and especially help paying for medical bills, J.M.O. Best wishes

REPLY
@roch

I understand your situation. I was actually happy to turn 65 to be eligible for Medicare and stop paying outrageous insurance premiums. Unfortunately, Medicare does not solve all medical cost problems.

I would check if your state has any Medical assistance / Medicaid program you might qualify for. My sister had a company health insurance that did not provide enough coverage especially for medication. Even though she was working, because her income was so low she was able to qualify for medical assistance.

Check with your state / county assistance offices. Many states have a service called “211” . By dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

Laurie

Jump to this post

I’ve tried that and because I live with my son and his family and don’t have a child under 18 I don’t qualify. They said I make too much for food stamps. I got food stamps years ago because my son and I lived with my parents and he was 17. $120.00 a month. I gave it to my mother to help buy groceries. He moved out and I no longer qualify. NC wants your family to pay if you live with them. I can’t afford to live alone or roommates because housing has gone up too much. So I’m stuck. If NC had elected to expand Medicaid I wouldn’t have this problem. But they didn’t and a few hospitals have gone out of business because of it.

REPLY
@becky1024

Laurie, there’s a catch to being on Medicaid. I’m in Pennsylvania in Hud Section 8 Housing. My health is a nightmare, my finances are rock bottom. This is a high rise building with 100 apartments. It was originally built for the elderly in 1976. As times changed, so did the requirements. At first, you had to be 65 or older, then laws changed and you qualified if you were medically handicapped and less than 65. Then it was lowered to above 42 I believe and handicapped. Income is also factored in and any resources you may own. Your income determines the amount you’ll pay. The income limits are high enough almost anyone 42 or above and handicapped will qualify. I’ll turn 80 next year, if I live long enough. My income is just Social Security. I had to laugh when I filled out the application. Low income amount was way above me, Very low income level was still above my income, Critically low level was still $3000 above me. Am I poor, yep, but I have my own apartment and pay only 30% of my adjusted income for rent. The state pays for the rest of my rent. My utilities are also included except phone and TV connection.

Because I am so poor and sickly with many major health problems including my entire spine. I smashed two different windshields with my forehead compressing my spine. My neck, between the shoulder blades snd lower lumbar discs are all screwed up. Since my body is such a mess with many heart, kidney and blood troubles, I’m on our Medicaid program including food stamps. I pay no medical bills, pay $1.30 per prescription and living off other people’s generosity. But I started working in 1952 at age 9 and retired in 2006 at 62.

So my advice to you is prepare to live a life that is very restricted if you want the government to help you. There’s help out here for you but it comes with many restrictions. If you’re ready for the government to control your life, tell you what you can or cannot do, pack your bags, nothing else. You can start a new life and apply for your state’s Medicaid or equivalent system as a Handicapped applicant under 65.

Jump to this post

I’m from PA, moved to NC in 1983. I make too much money for anything ($12.25/hour) unless I was on my own. I got married in 1987 and had a great paying job. My husband was killed in a car wreck when I was 38. A year later computers took over my job. No life insurance. I was 18 with a baby living with my parents when my dad took a better job in NC. One of the worst states for taxes on things I’ve ever lived in. You pay tax on your car when you buy it. Then you pay taxes on it every year. Crazy. Taxes on animals and outrageous state tax. Because the south is supposed to be lower cost of living. For the life of me I don’t see it

REPLY
@lacy2

ahh @becky1024 just opening up connect site and happened to see your comment above not even going back to find out subject but agree such a difference living a life with little/little/fixed income. I am senior and when raising two children after divorce was working in an office and barely making ends meet…i could have applied for what used to be called in Canada 'Mothers' Allowance" but decided to keep my job and not 'enter the system"…was hand me down clothes for us all, yard sales, no holidays old car too old to use in winter so city bus , standing in minus 20C while coworkers drove by…. been there, done that; one thing grateful for was our basically free health system. However, I did hear horror stories of those on what they called welfare, mothers allowance, disability pensions etc. being treated badly or differently – labelled! And what is ahead now – even our medial system going down the drain since Covid and people finding they can work from home, but what surprised me is a recent poll asking how many of the public would be interested in working in the health field and it was appallingly low… what??? People no longer wish to look after sick/ill people… well who is going to help those of us who need medical help in the future..or a member of our family……quite scary. Solution? oh and rent-geared-to-income is available here but a very poor family can move into a home; win ten million dollars; or get a good paying job; but are not asked to leave the housing… for various reasons… so waiting lists are extremely long and become permanent housing as market rent too high, plus month later could lose job, even lose money, and would be back on waiting list…when i was raised in uk had been in poor house after War then parents got a municipal all the same rent semi detached house and my mum and dad were over the moon, finally a decent home and garden, made the world of difference and always grateful for that. Both parents worked at low paying jobs but affordable rent, no extras but after the war majority working class no extras but I have no idea how 'disabled,' or singles; or people on government funds existed… still better than many other countries we see on tv etc., but still too many people needing a roof over their heads and especially help paying for medical bills, J.M.O. Best wishes

Jump to this post

Just read your post, interesting. 2019 was the turning point for me, from decent to disaster to a nightmare. From having precancerous cells beginning to progress into cancer to discovering a rare heart birth defect, a 1 in a million defect that’s trying yo kill me. To kidneys failing, having 3 heart attacks, losing the use of both legs and arms, to catching Covid 5 times on and on and on it goes. My country is a train out of control ready to crash and burn.

I’ve chatted with others from around the world including Canada and the UK. I’ve learned from them how difficult it can be to get medical help and Covid hasn’t made it any easier. Because of my many rare health problems, I’m trapped in this system till the day I die. Thankfully it may not be much longer as my heart is nearly worn out. I wrote a book and titled it “One Story At A Time!” It tells the stories about the trials and tribulations of people living in my small coal mining community back in the 1800’s. It was just as bad back then as it is today. Sickness, starvation, drought, deaths, just like your story today as well as mine. I hope things work out for you, for me, I’m just waiting for the Grim Reaper to tap me on the shoulder as say, “You’re Next!!!”

REPLY
@jojo58

I’m from PA, moved to NC in 1983. I make too much money for anything ($12.25/hour) unless I was on my own. I got married in 1987 and had a great paying job. My husband was killed in a car wreck when I was 38. A year later computers took over my job. No life insurance. I was 18 with a baby living with my parents when my dad took a better job in NC. One of the worst states for taxes on things I’ve ever lived in. You pay tax on your car when you buy it. Then you pay taxes on it every year. Crazy. Taxes on animals and outrageous state tax. Because the south is supposed to be lower cost of living. For the life of me I don’t see it

Jump to this post

That’s the catch, money, you’re not supposed to have much of it to qualify. Dirt poor is an appropriate description. Back in my life, I delivered newspapers, got real sick, turns out I was making $50 a month to much to qualify for Welfare as it was called back then. Be glad you’re not back here in PA, They tax the water you drink and then tax you when your body gets rid of it in the toilet. They tax you to cut a tree down and tax you if you plant another. They tax the gas you use, the cigarettes you smoke and the booze you drink to drown your troubles away. I think the price of a carton of popular cigarettes is over $100 now. They’re always robbing Peter to pay Paul, then saying they need more money. Such is life in PA, be glad for what you have or someone may want to tax it out of existence

REPLY

….life can be so hard sometimes, either income-related, illness, location, abuse etc. etc. and especially lately with covid expenses, doubt if world will ever be the same as we once new it… or did we really know it? … now we get news from across the globe as it happens, good or bad and usually bad….don't have grandchildren but children are growing up in these circumstances, not ours, so nothing to compare it with… we don have a lot but now older some savings but too ill to travel and clothes dont ware out etc. ..i would gladly be back at work at a job I didnt like .well like the job and clients just not a happy place to work… and swap it for this constant illness. and yes taxes and prices going up every day, can almost hear them. the future is going to be interesting paying for all the extra expenses of covid…. but all countries facing I would think…at least I have background in not having much expendable income but for those who haven't sure is going to be a shock….in the meantime, stay safe and buy lottery tickets …. bad joke but we have no control any more!!! take care

REPLY
@lacy2

….life can be so hard sometimes, either income-related, illness, location, abuse etc. etc. and especially lately with covid expenses, doubt if world will ever be the same as we once new it… or did we really know it? … now we get news from across the globe as it happens, good or bad and usually bad….don't have grandchildren but children are growing up in these circumstances, not ours, so nothing to compare it with… we don have a lot but now older some savings but too ill to travel and clothes dont ware out etc. ..i would gladly be back at work at a job I didnt like .well like the job and clients just not a happy place to work… and swap it for this constant illness. and yes taxes and prices going up every day, can almost hear them. the future is going to be interesting paying for all the extra expenses of covid…. but all countries facing I would think…at least I have background in not having much expendable income but for those who haven't sure is going to be a shock….in the meantime, stay safe and buy lottery tickets …. bad joke but we have no control any more!!! take care

Jump to this post

You are correct on many points. Things aren't the same as they were. Illness really complicates things. However, prayer really does work and it also helps to have a friendly pawn shop nearby when answers to prayers are slow in coming!

REPLY
@becky1024

That’s the catch, money, you’re not supposed to have much of it to qualify. Dirt poor is an appropriate description. Back in my life, I delivered newspapers, got real sick, turns out I was making $50 a month to much to qualify for Welfare as it was called back then. Be glad you’re not back here in PA, They tax the water you drink and then tax you when your body gets rid of it in the toilet. They tax you to cut a tree down and tax you if you plant another. They tax the gas you use, the cigarettes you smoke and the booze you drink to drown your troubles away. I think the price of a carton of popular cigarettes is over $100 now. They’re always robbing Peter to pay Paul, then saying they need more money. Such is life in PA, be glad for what you have or someone may want to tax it out of existence

Jump to this post

They tax all that here too. Cigerettes aren’t much cheaper. We pay tax on food, clothes, shoes if I recall we didn’t pay those sales taxes in PA

REPLY

Except for food, they tax just about everything and they still want more. Even the state legislature can’t stop the flood of money needed. That’s because they’re the 2nd largest one in the entire United States. Even the judicial system gets in on it, they get an automatic pay raise every year. It just keeps going on and on and on. Come back to Pa, we need another taxpayer to shell out their hard earned money. That proverbial grass always seems greener in someone else’s yard!!!

REPLY

Hi JoJo, I am 63 now and was able to get Medicare early due to disability. Have you tried to apply for Social Security Disability? After 2 years of being on SSI your eligible for Medicare. It sure helped me with my ongoing follow-ups after a heart transplant. If you haven't it may take a few tries to get a yes from SS but at least it may help down the road. I actually was very surprised I got it the first try and at the time inwas 58. It will require a statement from a doctor probably but with back issues it sounds possible.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment