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More health care options

Post  nancym on Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:48 pm

If you are really broke and need health care, there are local options that you may not be aware of because they are not advertised. I could not continue my expensive private plan as of February 1, 2009, so I looked around for other options, especially dental. I found very little help with dental, but I found a good option for general medical care. I am 62, and I'm sure there are others in my shoes, since we cannot get Medicare yet.

If you live in Broward County (other counties may have similar help), each zip code (or maybe just some, I don't know) has a publicly supported hospital plan that you can apply for. I was eligible for Memorial Hospital's plan in my area, and I have to say that I have received more access to care than I had in the last several years on very expensive private plans, mainly because of all the outrageous deductibles and extra costs.

With my current plan, which only lasts as long as I am under a certain income, I don't like the fact that I can't choose my private doctor, and there was a lot of red tape and confused information in the very beginning, but hey, it's very close to FREE, and I chose an option that lets you pay $35 so you can go to a primary private doctor and they give you referrals to specialists, just like a regular HMO. There is also a big prescription discount on many drugs.

Since any plan out of Congress, even if it passes, is going to take about two years to implement, more of us will probably be depending on these local options.

Also, just a warning about those Cover Florida plans, I may have to consider one of those if and when I gain a bit more income, but be very careful to read all the details of those plans. They generally give you a choice of a basic preventive minus the catastrophic coverage, or the opposite, a catastrophic minus the preventive measures.

Insurance companies are panicking about reform; they are offering alternatives to try to limit the push for reform. These are not state subsidized plans, just a reworking of plan offerings by the insurance companies on request of Governor Crist. The state didn't want to spend anything on these plans (and also didn't have the money for it now with the budget crunch). AND they warn that certain pre-existing conditions may not be covered. (We've all heard that before, right?)
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Jacqui on Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:04 pm

Nancy try a dental school. I know the thought of student working on you can be scary but we have never had a problem. the professors are right there all the time. In gainseville, you have one student the whole duration of your fixing if you need any. they have payment plans and it is about 50% cheaper. which is almost as good as most dental plans now a days. they even have pediatrics. the only downside is that the time in the chair is a little longer. but if you can stand for it it may save you some money.

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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:10 am

Jacqui wrote:Nancy try a dental school.

Thanks, Jacqui, but it's just not an option here. Even my primary doctor is frustrated that there are no options for serious dental problems in this county. The only school is Nova, and they are not within reasonable pricing for most dental work, only the specialists do the extractions and root canals, and their prices are almost as much as a private dentist. When I can barely afford groceries (not eligible for food stamps), I don't have hundreds of dollars to get one or possibly two teeth taken care of. Have been on antibiotics for an abscess for many months now. Broward County health dept has a program for simple preventive care that is good for that, and they might be starting a new program that includes a dentist who does extractions, but I haven't heard back from them yet. It's a serious need here, and no dentists are stepping forward to fill the gap.
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Jacqui on Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:50 am

Yes I see your problem Nancy. I am sorrry you have to go thru that. The dental school we have to use is 2 hours a way and you are right there still is a cost that we cant afford. But they do the extreme work there. My husband had 3 teeth pulled that were beyond repair, and we could have opted to have them bridged or the permenant fake ones but in (name slips me right now) but it was still too much for our blood ( and it actually has to be fixed or re-done sooner than dentures). So he wears dentures which was still 500$ (paid with last tier, lol), only because they were for front teeth.

I feel you on the pain though. I am blessed enough to get VA disability 30% (not the disability is a blessing but the fact i qualify for VA insurance) so the VA covers my medical but not my dental. And as stated previously my husband has no dental nor medical. His job doesnt allow for either. My kids are all on medicaid. But honestly they will get bumbed off because I am receiving this EB. And when I am finished with receiving all my EB I have to reapply all over again and wait for up to 60 days for them to be put back on. Luckily mine is coming all this month so it will only be about a 2-3 month gap for no insurance. (but with my luck one of my kids will break their arm in the middle of this, watch). I find it rediculous that we can receive EB because of the economy but then receiving EB can bumb you off other needed programs such as medicaid or foodstamps. As if they want us to use the money for Healthcare and food instead of bills and needs.

I am sorry you have to be in this position. No pale

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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:13 pm

Jacqui wrote: I find it rediculous that we can receive EB because of the economy but then receiving EB can bumb you off other needed programs such as medicaid or foodstamps.

Right, it is more than ridiculous, it seems totally upside down. They really need to craft legislation to correct this madness. They put billions into the food stamp part of the stimulus, only to have it blocked by state rules on total income. Therefore--no stimulus effect! Same for Medicaid, and that's even worse, putting people's health care at risk because of some bad timing and red tape. They need to do an "edited" stimulus package just to correct the mistakes made in the last one.
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:53 am

I've been on unemployment for over a year now and lost all insurance. I am a single mother with 3 children. One is special needs. DCF denied Medicaid and referred me to Kidcare, where I have been waiting now for 2 months for a reply from them. I will also have to pay for Kidcare, it is not free. I have been denied food stamps for the whole year. But I can't reappplying. Finally, two weeks ago, I was granted 153.00 a month in food stamps, but I was told if my unemployment is raised at all, by another additional 25.00 a week or I get a job that pays slightly more, I will be cut off.

I am very concerned about the rules concerning the unemployed. I thought the Welfare system was supposed to be for people in these situations. Being laid off is something that happened to us..it was not our choice. I believe we should all get Medicaid and Food stamps as we look for work. Instead, the majority of my unemployment goes to rent and food. If I want to pay my electrical bill, I have to be late with my rent. If I want to eat, then I have to eat in the dark. This is crazy.

From what I can tell, with the way the Welfare system is set up, we have to get even worse before we qualify for Medicaid or a decent amount of food stamps. But worse for me would be being homeless. This is crazy. There should be some proposed legislation to do something about this. It is futile to say all the unemployment must get worse before they receive any help from Welfare. They need to cut those off who have made a career out of living off of the system and free it up for those who truly need it to get on their feet and stay afloat.

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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:11 pm

maryrunge wrote:I've been on unemployment for over a year now and lost all insurance. I am a single mother with 3 children. One is special needs. DCF denied Medicaid and referred me to Kidcare, where I have been waiting now for 2 months for a reply from them.

Wow! I'm astonished that you have 3 kids and were denied Medicaid. I'm assuming you must have assets or child support that they count. (None of my business.) Most of us single folks have been bemoaning the fact that we can't get temporary Medicaid because of no kids, so I'm surprised even you can't get it.

The food stamps is not a surprise, since most of us, especially those who are single, found out the hard way that the new law that raised the unemployment benefit did not also raise the max income for food stamps (DUH!), thus cutting many people out of the program that was a major addition to the stimulus package.
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:10 pm

I am just as astonished and almost outraged as well. It does not seem logical at all that my children would at least get Medicaid. No, I don't have assets, other than an old clunker, that, by the way, does not even qualify for the "clunkers for cash" program...lol....I do receive child support and that is probably why...I am being penalized.

You know..more than half of my total income goes to rent alone. The rest somehow has to pay for 250.00 in electric bills, car insurance and food. Which leaves me in the red. I don't have credit cards or loans, just very basic things in order to live.

Yes....I can see when I was working why I wouldn't "qualify", although I could have still used some help...but now? No, it makes no sense to me at all. And even though earlier in the year, when they granted an extra 25.00 a week....when I recertified for a "new benefit year" with unemployment in July....they reduced my benefits...so in other words...It's as if I am not receiving that extra 25.00 now...

Nope, none if it seems logical or fair. It's just plain wrong.

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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Unemployed In Orlando on Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:50 pm

nancym wrote:
maryrunge wrote:I've been on unemployment for over a year now and lost all insurance. I am a single mother with 3 children. One is special needs. DCF denied Medicaid and referred me to Kidcare, where I have been waiting now for 2 months for a reply from them.

Wow! I'm astonished that you have 3 kids and were denied Medicaid. I'm assuming you must have assets or child support that they count. (None of my business.) Most of us single folks have been bemoaning the fact that we can't get temporary Medicaid because of no kids, so I'm surprised even you can't get it.

The food stamps is not a surprise, since most of us, especially those who are single, found out the hard way that the new law that raised the unemployment benefit did not also raise the max income for food stamps (DUH!), thus cutting many people out of the program that was a major addition to the stimulus package.

Dammit Nancy, I offered my hand in marriage already!! hahahaha lol!
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:05 pm

Unemployed In Orlando wrote:

Dammit Nancy, I offered my hand in marriage already!! hahahaha lol!

Ha-Ha! Well, UIO, if these government rules get any more ridiculous I may be forced to take you up on that offer! Hee-hee! Laughing
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State pushes low-cost insurance program for children

Post  sc4ram on Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:58 pm

August 13, 2009


State pushes low-cost insurance program for children

By Paul Flemming
Florida Capital Bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- With a national health care debate raging, Florida officials Thursday pushed for enrollment in the state's low-cost insurance program for children.

Back-to-school preparations should include making sure children are covered by health insurance. Uninsured children under 19 in families that meet income guidelines can get affordable coverage in the multi-agency program.

"Back to school is the time parents are thinking about it," said Loranne Ausley, chair of the Florida Healthy Kids board. "Health insurance is available."

There are1.6 million children in the 11-year-old KidCare. Its eligibility requirements and enrollment procedures have changed many times, leading to a 40 percent reduction from 2004-06. But further changes have increased enrollment since 2007. Since July, more than 50,000 previously uninsured children have signed up and started getting care.

The income guidelines include pro-rated premiums for families up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The majority do not pay premiums, but low-cost coverage is available with rates ranging from $15 to $159 a month.

Leah McCarthy sells real estate in Tallahassee. Her 8-year-old daughter has been enrolled in KidCare since she was 3 and on Wednesday McCarthy extolled the virtues of the program.

"KidCare rescued us, basically," McCarthy said. "I'm a hard-working professional and mother, but I don't know how we would make it without KidCare. I'd be drowning in debt."

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said the national debate about the Obama Administration's health care proposals is a chance to highlight Florida's programs.

"It's affordable, it's comprehensive and it's easy to apply," Kottkamp said.

Efforts by the Departments of Health, Education and Children and Families, along with the Agency for Workforce Innovation aim to increase enrollment distributing information through county health departments, direct mailings and promotional materials. More information is available at www.floridakidcare.org.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Ausley said.
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Uninsured? Here's how you still can get health care

Post  sc4ram on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:02 pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-aseccare15031509mar15,0,70126.story
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Safe Ways to Save Money on Health Care

Post  sc4ram on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:06 pm

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/sfl-save-money-health-care-041609-html,0,7708127.htmlstory
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Jobless should beware costly COBRA, weigh other health insurance

Post  sc4ram on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:13 pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-bizinsurance15031509mar15,0,3514937.story
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Free and low-cost medical alternatives for uninsured

Post  sc4ram on Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:36 pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-bk-young-uninsured-080709,0,4334778.story
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:22 am

sc4ram wrote:http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/sfl-save-money-health-care-041609-html,0,7708127.htmlstory

sc4ram--

Thanks for posting all these valuable resources.

What a lot of people don't understand is that in many areas there are emergency or temporary services that have grown up in the absence of care for the uninsured and sometimes there is a maze of interconnected services that are hard to find but very valuable. They are sometimes hard to find because limited resources don't allow for as much coordination as is often needed, and they certainly can't afford big tv ads!

This particular post mentions the North and South Broward hospital districts. I live in South Broward and found a particular gem of a program through the Memorial Regional Hospital system. There is nothing online that I have found, other than clinic hours, but within that system they have an option for "outside doctor." (You have to call and ask about it at the number listed in that article.)

That program, if you qualify with low income (some complicated calculations, don't ask me how they figure it!), you can either go to the clinic, or you can pay an extra $35 per year plus zero for doctor visits plus $8 for almost any kind of tests and many prescriptions. I have to admit, even though I don't like not being able to choose my former doctors, I have received more access to care from this hospital system than I was able to get in the last few years of my very expensive private insurance with its large deductibles that prohibited care!

I will not be able to continue on this program forever. As soon as I start making even a little more money I will have to look for alternatives, but for the time I have it, I have to recommend it. There are the usual annoying things like repetitive paperwork, needing paper referrals for any doc visits, and it took a while to get past the initial screening and setup with a primary care doctor, but I don't know what I would have done without their services.

Now if I can just find a similar program for dental services, of which I've posted before on this forum (please don't mention Nova dental school to me!), I'll be all set.
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Sheila on Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:42 am

The dental school at Shands in Gainesville will NOT do major dental work. There really is no help with people who have dental problems. Even if you have dental insurance, it barely covers anything.


Last edited by Sheila on Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding and who cares my reason?)

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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  nancym on Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:17 pm

Sheila wrote:The dental school at Shands in Gainesville will NOT do major dental work. There really is no help with people who have dental problems. Even if you have dental insurance, it barely covers anything.

I consider this situation as criminal as so many dying from lack of health care every year. (That number is recently reported to be over 40,000 at this point!)

Any doctor can tell you that infections in the teeth can be a major health hazard to the entire body, whether it's from bacteria that affect the heart (well-documented research, besides the fact that a close friend of mine died young of a heart attack shortly after complaining to me that he had severe gum disease that he could not get treatment for), or whether from issues of pain or nutrition or other reactions in the body. My own primary care doctor at the moment, who specializes in senior care, is appalled that there is no treatment available for many of her elderly patients who have dental problems that complicate their health problems. And yet finding a dentist who will give a little on pricing is like finding a needle in a haystack.

A lack of primary care doctors? How about a lack of humane dentists who do pro bono work!
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Sheila on Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:21 am

nancym wrote:
Sheila wrote:The dental school at Shands in Gainesville will NOT do major dental work. There really is no help with people who have dental problems. Even if you have dental insurance, it barely covers anything.

I consider this situation as criminal as so many dying from lack of health care every year. (That number is recently reported to be over 40,000 at this point!)

Any doctor can tell you that infections in the teeth can be a major health hazard to the entire body, whether it's from bacteria that affect the heart (well-documented research, besides the fact that a close friend of mine died young of a heart attack shortly after complaining to me that he had severe gum disease that he could not get treatment for), or whether from issues of pain or nutrition or other reactions in the body. My own primary care doctor at the moment, who specializes in senior care, is appalled that there is no treatment available for many of her elderly patients who have dental problems that complicate their health problems. And yet finding a dentist who will give a little on pricing is like finding a needle in a haystack.

A lack of primary care doctors? How about a lack of humane dentists who do pro bono work!

Oh My, I am sorry to hear about your friend. That is not right! That's just not right!!! Sorry, these things outrage me. The dental field is such a monopoly. They tell people lies like 'The only reason you have dental problems is bad hygiene". B.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad teeth run in my family. I did not grow up with my Mom or sister, yet after having children, all of us lost some teeth. It is HEREDITARY!!! My one daughter has great, big healthy teeth. My other daughter has the tiny see-through teeth that runs in my family, and I know she will have problems unless she can afford dental care for the rest of her life. The whole thing is frustrating. That gets me so mad about your friend. I know, you have been through all those emotions, but this country needs to wake up!!

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The Unemployed Get a Health Care Gift

Post  sc4ram on Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:12 pm

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1950013,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
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Congress Extends COBRA subsidy

Post  sc4ram on Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:36 pm

This article is dated Jan 5 on line but appeared in my local paper today. FYI


http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/block/2010-01-04-cobra-extension-health-insurance_N.htm
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Re: Health Care Resources

Post  Judy on Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:19 am

Sheila wrote:
nancym wrote:
Sheila wrote:The dental school at Shands in Gainesville will NOT do major dental work. There really is no help with people who have dental problems. Even if you have dental insurance, it barely covers anything.

I consider this situation as criminal as so many dying from lack of health care every year. (That number is recently reported to be over 40,000 at this point!)

Any doctor can tell you that infections in the teeth can be a major health hazard to the entire body, whether it's from bacteria that affect the heart (well-documented research, besides the fact that a close friend of mine died young of a heart attack shortly after complaining to me that he had severe gum disease that he could not get treatment for), or whether from issues of pain or nutrition or other reactions in the body. My own primary care doctor at the moment, who specializes in senior care, is appalled that there is no treatment available for many of her elderly patients who have dental problems that complicate their health problems. And yet finding a dentist who will give a little on pricing is like finding a needle in a haystack.

A lack of primary care doctors? How about a lack of humane dentists who do pro bono work!

Oh My, I am sorry to hear about your friend. That is not right! That's just not right!!! Sorry, these things outrage me. The dental field is such a monopoly. They tell people lies like 'The only reason you have dental problems is bad hygiene". B.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad teeth run in my family. I did not grow up with my Mom or sister, yet after having children, all of us lost some teeth. It is HEREDITARY!!! My one daughter has great, big healthy teeth. My other daughter has the tiny see-through teeth that runs in my family, and I know she will have problems unless she can afford dental care for the rest of her life. The whole thing is frustrating. That gets me so mad about your friend. I know, you have been through all those emotions, but this country needs to wake up!!

Sheila, you are absolutely correct - tooth problems are hereditary. My mother got dentures when she was in her late 40's after years of discomfort. My sister and I both got dentures in our mid-50's. This last dentist (after years of hearing we didn't care for out teeth properly) told both of us that there was nothing we could have done to save our teeth - the problem was hereditary. The last couple of years have been the only ones I can remember since my since my early 20's that my mouth hasn't hurt.

As far as bad teeth affecting overall health, there seems to be a direct correlation between mouth infections and heart/other health problems - that is one of the main reasons dentists will not extract a tooth that is abcessed until the infection is gone. Even veternarians will tell you that bad teeth can lead to heart problems in dogs/cats.

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Free dental care available to low-income children

Post  sc4ram on Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:28 pm

http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/EastVolusia/evlEAST06012810.htm
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Class-action lawsuit alleges inadequate dental care for children on Medicaid

Post  sc4ram on Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:12 am

http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20102090309
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Special dentists treat special-needs children

Post  sc4ram on Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:11 pm

http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2010/03/13/special-dentists-treat-special-needs-children.html
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Re: Health Care Resources

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