My brother was scheduled to have knee surgery, but has just lost insurance coverage. How can I help him?
tldr: My 21-year old younger brother needs knee surgery, has no money, and his insurance coverage ended 12 days ago. He lives in MI, USA. How can I make this happen for him?
My younger brother is 21 years old. He has some kind of...thing, in his knee that has been causing him constant pain. I'm sorry I don't know the details - it could be a tumor, bone fragment... I don't know. I do know that doctors don't believe it to be malignant or life-threatening. But it makes it difficult for him to stand or walk or enjoy life, and it's been getting gradually worse for the past few months.
He was scheduled to undergo surgery to fix this problem tomorrow, October 27. Unfortunately, he cancelled his appointment because he recently lost health coverage. He was covered under my father's health plan. But my father lost his job on October 14. For a while it looked like my father's health insurance would continue until the end of the month, but we recently got confirmation that his coverage ended on October 15, the day after he was let go.
My brother is very upset that he will not be able to have this problem corrected. He works part-time at a retail establishment; his job requires him to be on his feet all day. This has become very difficult for him in his current condition. His employer does offer health insurance, and his new insurance kicks in in another week or so. However it is very minimal insurance. It looks like their coverage for surgical procedures is only $400 per year! My Mom estimates that the base cost for the surgury is upwards of $10,000, so my brother's insurance wouldn't make a very big dent in that.
My parents are exploring their options - they mentioned applying for Medicare. My Dad could theoretically get COBRA, but there's no way they could afford it. My parents are in bankruptcy right now and have no money and no income. The family's doing our best to keep them housed and fed while my dad looks for a new job.
I would like to intervene and make this surgery happen for my brother. How can I do that?
I am reasonably stable in my current condition. I am employed full-time and do not live with my parents and the rest of my family. I know there's never any guarantees, but my job looks to be as stable as a job can be right now. I am far from rich, but I have enough money to pay for my own expenses, plus a little extra. I'm already giving my parents all the monetary support my income allows while my dad looks for another job, but I'm willing to get into a little bit more debt if it helps my brother out. I don't think I can get a multi-thousand dollar loan right now though, because I already have a fairly high debt-to-income ratio (the last time I applied for credit I was declined for this reason). I'm willing to try though.
What are my options here? One thing that came to mind is that I could have my brother get an individual insurance policy, and I could pay the premiums. I was looking at this plan, for example
. It covers surgery 70% in-network with an annual out-of-pocket maxmium of $3500. It says pre-existing conditions aren't covered for the first 180 days. But my understanding is that you can get around that if the gap between the new coverage and your previous coverage is less than 63 days. Is that correct? However, I realize that we might still be talking about me paying $3500+$200/month for this, and I'm not sure I can come up with that money. Also, I'm not sure how something like this would interact with his work-sponsored plan that has a $400 limit. Do they stack up so that the first plan would pay $400 and the second plan would pay the rest? Can you even have 2 health care plans?
I really don't know what I can do here, but I want to do something
. Any suggestions?
My brother lives in Michigan, USA.