I may have breast cancer. I do not have health insurance. What now?
I am in my late thirties and the sole support of two teenagers. We live in California, and our closest family is in Florida. I am a long-term contractor at my current job, but no longer think they are going to hire me on, and so I have started looking for permanent work elsewhere. I don't have health insurance, and open enrollment has passed on my agency's health plan.
A hereditary breast/ovarian cancer risk factor, a BRCA1 deletion mutation, runs in my family. According to the literature, women with this particular mutation have an 80% chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer. My sister, my mother, my mother's sister, my grandmother's sister, and my grandmother's sister's daughter have have had breast or ovarian cancer. My mother, my mother's sister, and my grandmother's sister died from it. My sister was diagnosed stage 1/2 borderline, and had chemo and a bilateral mastectomy less than a year ago.
Well, yesterday I felt a lump in my breast. It was about the size of my fingertip to the first knuckle.
It could be nothing, but it could be cancer. If it were cancer, the treatment would probably be very aggressive -- meaning I may not be able to work.
- If I got a diagnosis before securing insurance -- would that be a 'pre-existing condition' the company would not like to pay for?
- And how do I get health insurance? Is 'Emergency Medi-Cal' or medicare an option?
- If I had to go out on disability, I could not pay my rent. What if I moved to Florida to live with my dad -- how would that affect my state insurance and/or disability benefits? Would I apply here, then go there? Go there, then apply?
I don't mean to be hysterical. I know that it could very well be nothing at all. But it does seem like the timing of the diagnosis wrt insurance could be important, so I need to be smart about this. Hope for the best and plan for the worst, as they say.
Thanks for any advice you can give me.