My mother suffers from several serious medical conditions and sees a variety of specialists - some quarterly, some annually, and some only when she has a flare-up or episode. Several of these conditions, and/or the medications that treat them, impact her mental functioning. Every time she sees a doctor and I talk to her, I get the distinct impressions that she either hasn't given the doctor an accurate picture of what's going on with her, that she doesn't understand or remember what the doctor said, or both. I'd like to help her out by taking a look at her records and speaking with her doctors to make sure she's getting the treatment she needs and that it's being properly coordinated to account for her multiple conditions and multiple doctors. [more inside]
Because my livelihood currently derives from the regular receiving of a remittance from my family, I'm without taxable income and thus eligible under the Affordable Health Care Act for California's state-funded health insurance Medi-Cal. At the same time, I'm in a position to purchase low-grade private health insurance without terrible hardship. Medi-Cal seemed to make sense because it is basically free health care, and I signed up. Mefites have also written positively about it. However, looking now at the stripe of participating providers and hospitals, and, especially, looking at the extremely negative yelp.com reviews that have been posted of these providers and hospitals, I have become scared. [more inside]
I just returned from West Africa and have a number of symptoms consistent with malaria - or the flu. I have no healthcare, through circumstances beyond my control (I'll elaborate) until May 1. When is it worth it to go to the doctor to get tested? How can I try to keep this from being a pre-existing condition, given that it may be the recurrent form? [more inside]
I've been working for a medical supply company for almost a year now within the medical records department. Excited at first when I started last May of 2013 after being laid off for 3 months from my optical job for 8 years. Double the pay plus benefits to boot. Fast forward to April now and I've become semi-miserable the past 2-3 weeks. [more inside]
We're traveling soon with two toddlers to stay in HK. They are generally healthy kids, but we'd appreciate any information or advice in case something healthcare-related comes up during our stay. [more inside]
I need to insure my newborn. Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
I am trying to pick between two health plans. The higher deductible plan makes more sense for me except for one thing – there is no out-of-pocket limit for out-of-network treatment. This seems like a big flashing warning sign to me, but I’m not sure how avoidable out-of-network care is. For example, would being taken to an out-of-network hospital after a car accident start triggering unlimited expenses that I would be entirely responsible for? Is this a plan I should stay away from?
I got a small bill for lab work done as part of a routine annual exam. The entire amount should have been covered in full. At what point do I give up and just pay the bill? [more inside]
What's the most efficient way to get non-condom birth control without health insurance? [more inside]
I've been calling my psychiatrist since last week to attempt to set up an appointment. I haven't encountered an actual human's voice, nor have I been directed to voicemail. I've tried calling both of her offices repeatedly with no success (and with no way of leaving a message). What do I do now? [more inside]
I used a midwife throughout my pregnancy but ended up with an emergency c-section. My insurance company has denied part of the claim leaving me about $3,400 poorer. I'd like to recoup as much of this as possible from my health insurance but I'm not sure the best way to go about it... [more inside]
I'm looking to collect as many specific examples as I can, of instances in which specific Republican/conservative behaviors and/or political moves have directly contradicted the teachings of Christ. Some specific examples within. [more inside]
Partnered with an EU citizen, likely soon becoming a trailing spouse. I am a master's-level clinician (NP) whose qualifications will sadly not be recognized by the NHS. Questions for the green: - Thoughts on general job prospects/climate for foreigners? - Does marriage to an EU citizen improve/hinder chances of job placement? We are not married, and neither desiring/against marriage as an institution. Okay with getting married if it will smooth our transitions a bit. - Suggestions for job seekers' resources in the UK, particularly London? Bonus points for health-related and/or immigrant-focused resources. [more inside]
A friend and I are far apart politically, but I see a potential opportunity to come closer together. What is the best way to approach this? It is very delicate. [more inside]
Calling all nurse practitioners: tell me about your career. [more inside]
I have done something very stupid: I thought I had dropped my spouse from my insurance plan during open enrollment, but never double-checked and apparently I did not. Now my HR is telling me I can't remove him until next calendar year, so I have to pay the $3200 difference for the next year. This is in the U.S., as if you can't tell from the effed-upedness of these situations stemming from employer-based healthcare. [more inside]
I was talking about universal healthcare with someone who said that in a certain country the government provides only palliative care after a certain age (he thought it was 76). I was pretty certain this was definitely not the case but a google search of "which country provides only palliative care after 76" did not provide a definitive answer. Me-fites, is this a thing, anywhere in the world? I assumed it was something in the death panels vein (i.e. false).
It has recently come to our attention that our mother is hiding—what seem to be very serious—health issues from us. We want to help her, but we're unsure how to proceed. I am seeking advice on two fronts: (1) help us navigate the current healthcare bureaucracy, and (2) help us care for someone who is probably going to try to refuse our help. All of the details inside. [more inside]
Looking for advice on cost of living in France (South of Paris, Nice or Toulouse area). Partner and I would be making €120 to €140,000 combined household, before taxes. Another option is California where we could make way more money (at least $200-$220k combined, and less taxes). What is the cost of living in California (Irvine or San Diego) as a comparison? Is it expensive to have kids in the US? [more inside]
Hi all, Belated Happy New Year everyone! I am a 32yr old single mother of a beautiful 1yr old, and this year I’ve decided to plan ahead to help me fulfill my parenthood responsibilities to the best. We are a US middle-class family of two. Originally not from this country, I need to research several important aspects of planning for a future here. I hope to get some useful suggestions from those of you who are savvy about these things :-) [more inside]
Hello! After getting laid-off from a job and having a job to look forward to in June, I have decided to spend the next 6 months traveling, WWOOF-ing around the US and overseas, living off of my savings and picking up odd jobs. In terms of health care, and the marketplace, what health insurance plans cover multiple states for things other than emergencies (i.e. mental health, a foot fracture, etc)? Would a PPO do that or an HMO? I've spent a ton of time talking to the Maryland Health Exchange people, and after being told something different by each person I spoke to, I wanted to ask you all. Thank you kindly!
I would love the knowledge and insights of Mefites on this decision and on my top three contenders for insurance companies and their networks: Oscar, Health Republic, and Metroplus. [more inside]
I am totally paralyzed with indecision about the health insurance options I have at work this coming year. Halp! High deductible plan with an HSA vs tried-and-true HMO. [more inside]
Asking for a friend: my good friend has just been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She is in Europe and not returning home for treatment, and I'm trying to help her figure out her funding options and provide emotional support. Tips wanted/needed please. [more inside]
How will Medi-Cal (Medicaid) work in San Francisco in 2014? Can you choose your doctor? [more inside]
What other options are there besides pre-med? [more inside]
What comes next after popular medical non-fiction? [more inside]
My wife has been experiencing fairly severe edema and pain for 3 months, and proteinuria for about the last month. The doctors are all stumped. On the long shot that somebody here has experienced something similar... [more inside]
Given that there are parts of the world still fighting the battle against polio, and an increasing number of people in the US choosing to opt out of vaccinations for their children, is there a chance polio will return to the United States? [more inside]
I have to get mammograms every 6 months or so. Due to past sexual trauma, I get badly triggered and end up dissociating (not that big of a deal) then freaking out. Have developed some ways of making this all bearable (take the full day off work, take a friend who has specific instructions about what to do when, etc.). My therapist suggested I try to find a mammogram office that is used to dealing with this type of issue and may have other suggestions and be willing to work with me on making it less stressful. [more inside]
I need help figuring out the next step to take in my life. [more inside]
The co-pay is still high, because the device's mark-up seems ridiculous. [more inside]
How do you save money on things like food during a long hospital stay? In San Francisco, hotel has no fridge or microwave. [more inside]
So I'm a 23 year old recent college grad with a psychology degree and a long face. Why? No job, a shitty, inconsistent transcript to show for the last six years of my life ( barely eeking out a 3.0 because of significant and unrelenting problems with fatigue and depression, now somewhat under control), no work experience... oh, and I have cerebral palsy. All this helped build a brick wall almost impossible to see over, much less climb. This morning though, I managed to get bright-eyed and bushy tailed for all of five seconds after reading a Business Insider article that listed medical sonography as one of the best jobs available to those without a college degree. ( I've come to consider my degree a throwaway ( it's from a state school, it's in psychology, which makes me a decidedly un-special snowflake, and, like I said, the grades aren't frame worthy). Everything about medical sonography- the pay, the type of work, job growth and time-to-completion of the program is attractive. Trouble is, I leave much to be desired in terms of the physicality needed ( lifting, transporting patients, etc). What else can I do that offers all or many of these same benefits and is cripple friendly? [more inside]
Let's say you have medical condition ABC that can be treated with XYZ and you live in the United States. How does one become a medical tourist, defined by going outside the country for XYZ? It seems unlikely your doctor will acquiesce to sending you out of the country to get treatment with another doctor. How does the process begin, where patients can connect with the right doctors and facilities to arrange treatment? How do people evaluate the quality of treatment and follow-up care? Are there medial tourism "groups" that specialize in particular health issues? If you did this, what was your experience like and what recommendations would you have for issues or "gotchas" to look out for? [more inside]
My brother has been diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia, and is currently in the ICU. What we know is that he's not going to die tonight. He's got some life left in him. They're not sure about the precise form yet, that will take some time. But in the meantime, we have a problem: he's 31, recently unemployed, and uninsured. My family is far from being able to afford out of pocket health costs. And from all the doctors, drugs, machines he's been hooked up to in the past 10 hours, I know the bill is already creeping into the many tens of thousands of dollars. So my question to MeFites is: what are our options? How do we pay for this? We have very few assets, although I'm sure we'd sell the family home to keep my brother alive for a few more years. But apart from that, we've got nothing substantial. (I'm a graduate student, and my mother is a self-employed seamstress. My father is unemployed). Are there any gov't programs available? Can he go on Medicaid? Etc. I'm having trouble finding hard info on people in his particular situation (not a minor, not elderly, and diagnosed with cancer). Help!
Looking for The Magical Technology Adoption... [more inside]
I am about to enter medical school. My partner works in an entirely unrelated field, but doesn't plan to stay in that field. It recently occurred to us that (with appropriate training) he could switch to a job in healthcare that would enable us to work together after I finish my residency and begin my practice. We are trying to come up with an exhaustive list of jobs that exist in the office of a primary care physician in private practice. Can you help us flesh it out? The things we've thought of so far are nurse, nurse practitioner, billing and coding, office manager, bookkeeper. Please point out if you know of someone who does this job in the same office as their partner/spouse.
Would a U.S. health care service provider be required to publicly report the improper disposal and disclosure of health care records and other personal information? [more inside]
I am trying to make a career change. I'm really interested in healthcare but I'm having trouble breaking in. Most non entry-level jobs require direct healthcare experience but I only have some indirect experience (a couple healthcare clients from 5 years of traditional marketing/consulting). Any tips for someone looking to make a career change? Thanks!
I had planned surgery yesterday, which was cancelled on the part of the surgery center because of equipment issues. I originally paid a deposit to lock in the date/time, and also made a partial payment on a CC the day before (because it was not my card and the cardholder wouldn't be present on the procedure day). Am I right in demanding a refund of the money paid thus far, and is it actually illegal for them to NOT refund me? [more inside]
I have insurance for the first time, and I haven't been to a doctor since I was a child (>20 years). I am not sure exactly how doctors...work. Like, when it's appropriate to make use of the insurance. [more inside]
I am thinking of retiring early, relatively soon. Probably within five years, maybe much sooner. I want to make sure that I correctly understand various things, so I have several questions related to taxation, Obamacare, health savings accounts, IRAs, and SEPP. [more inside]
Asking for my SO. Short version: Because of incorrect information we received from ADP (our FSA administrators) in February, we're about to lose $1400 in SO's FSA that we had saved for her Lasik. We've contacted a healthcare advocate, and are trying to move up her surgery; in your experience, is there anything else we can do? [more inside]
I'm 27 and would like to become a physician's assistant (PA), but don't have any background in medicine, a prerequisite for nearly every PA program. Should I go through a phlebotomy program? Are there phlebotomy jobs out there? Would this be a good way to get working hours as a medical professional? [more inside]
Short term health insurance options in Massachusetts? [more inside]
Hi, UHC looks pretty interesting as a company. But I am having trouble grasping what the company does in reality (aside for all the marketing material on the website) and what is the REAL mission of this company. UHC is apparently an alliance of university medical center and affiliated hospitals website is www.uhc.edu Anyone in the know? or able to decode what is it they do? what is their role in the industry, .where they stand..etc.
I'm self employed. I need health insurance. My main concern is a random ER visit that will put me in debt for the rest of my life, so I told my wife not to worry about deductible prices, since I only need to go in once every few years anyway. She found something with a $4,000 deductible. And that was like $80/mo. The other ones were even more expensive. Is this price range right? Is this the only way to protect myself from crippling debt?
Trying to coordinate help for a friend. She stepped on a nail, doesn't have current Tetanus vax. She needs to have the wound thoroughly cleaned and get a tetanus vax. Just the shot at Walgreen's would be $200 - she needs something cheaper (no insurance). [more inside]
I'm a Canadian and somewhat ignorant about the U.S. healthcare system. Some simple questions inside. [more inside]