Health insurance. It’s one of those issues that have people perplexed these days, especially with new healthcare laws in place and so many choices to make when it comes to coverage. In mesothelioma insurance claims, Americans can only hope they’re carrying the right policy, especially when a catastrophic illness comes into the picture.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, no doubt your thoughts will eventually turn to expenses and the cost of treating the disease. Like any form of cancer, mesothelioma can be quite costly to treat, and there’s certainly more than meets the eye when it comes to considering all the expenses associated with the disease, not only direct medical costs but also costs that include transportation to appointments, in-home nursing care, and more. Indeed, cancer care costs can soar to hundreds of thousands of dollars in no time at all.
One of the first things you or a family member will need to do is to be in touch with your insurance character to learn what will be covered and what will not, what your coverage limits are, and what might fall into the gray area, so to speak. Depending on your age and other circumstances, you may have a primary insurer (companies like Aetna, Blue Cross, Travelers, etc.) and a supplemental insurer (Medicare/Medicaid) as well. You’ll need to have conversations with both if that is the case. Others might only be covered by one or the other.
You may be able to find answers to some of your questions by going through your policy-related materials, but in many cases it’s a good idea to call your benefits representative to clarify your coverage. You’ll want to ask questions about issues such as:
Need for pre-authorization for specialists, etc.
Ability to choose own doctors (or need to choose from a network)
Ability to change doctors if unsatisfied
Do not be afraid to ask questions again and again, especially if something isn’t clear. It is necessary for you to be certain what expenses are covered and for what you may wind up being responsible. If the representative to whom you are speaking is not clear, ask to speak to someone else until you’re satisfied.
Many mesothelioma patients are veterans. That means that their benefits may come from a different direction and that the Veterans Administration will most likely be involved. For example, the veteran may opt to go to veteran-specific hospitals for treatment. The 150+ VA hospitals in the United States offer a wide range of services, including oncology care, and there may be one in your area or one that’s a right fit for you and your disease challenges.
Remember, however, veterans needn’t limit themselves to treatment at VA hospitals. As a matter of fact, the VA may suggest a facility outside their system that is better suited for your care. However, some prescriptions may be available from the VA for little or no cost, even if you’re not using one of their hospitals.
A good place to look for Veterans-related resources is the website for the Disabled Veterans National Foundation. Check out their page entitled “BaRN” or Benefits and Resources Navigation. It offers a growing database of resources for Vets. Can’t find the answers? Call (202) 737-0522 or email the Disabled Veterans Foundation at [email protected]