I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

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I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby strt722 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:01 am

Hope you guys can help , I'm being treated for depression, since before I lost my wife about 9 months ago. I'm receiving Social Security survivor benefits of 560 a month,this is not disability ,so I'm not able to get medicare. I also have a couple annuities providing about another 1200 a month in income .I'm on the mini-med pump. I'm using 450 units of Humalog a week or about 2 vials a month. I use the one touch meter to test sugars 6-8 times daily , I take 20 mg citalopram once a day and 20 mg of lovastatin daily, also 10mg of lisinopril once a day. I am trying to figure if I have any options besides cobra which cost over 400 per month and will soon end. I don't feel that I could work anymore at least not full time . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby jimithy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:07 pm

strt722,

You already know that 2 vials of Humalog a month is out of your price range and Cobra is unaffordable. In general there are no price breaks on insulin because it is not a drug (and has no generic equivalents) and there are no incentives to give it away. We diabetics require insulin and the drug companies know it. But, there are solutions. (yes, multiple)

1st though, you've got some time on your hands so read all the Diabetic Subject area posts. Don't blow off ideas just because they may not work. You need to lower your costs everywhere. Even saving a few bucks on Lisinopril can be important if those bucks make or break you getting your insulin. There are various ways to get strips for almost nothing. You need to read those posts and start getting every free (or really cheap) meter you can.

Different One Touch meters use different strips. We need to know all of the types of strips you can use. (BTW it is excellent that you test your sugars this much. I do the same and most people do not understand why.)

You wrote:
I don't feel that I could work anymore at least not full time.


This presents an important option that could get you overall health care as well as prescription drug coverage... as well as a larger retirement check when you get to that age. (and it does not involve stealing or suing... but simply using your current insurance).

I just got back from an out-of-state hospital tonight. I'll contact other members. Work back and forth with us and give us a little time. We try to get beyond improving your current situation to start actually coming up with some real solutions.

Please keep us informed about your situation and what you are currently doing to work for solutions.

Thanks,

jimithy
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby dlcnurse » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:39 am

strt722,

Thank you for posting. I am sure that we can be of some assistance to you. First of all, insurance. Individual Insurance plans are quite expensive when purchasing them outright. Since you are currently on the COBRA, you are paying 102% of the policy at this moment. You would be eligible to apply to the insurance company that you were under while employed and ask about a conversion plan. There are some options with this. 1)Premiums are limited to twice the rate that your previous employer plan offered. 2)They cannot exclude your diabetes as a pre-existing illness. This is important as when trying to obtain a new individual insurance plan somewhere else they can exclude this pre-existing illness for 12 months and many of the plans can write an exclusion into the policy that it is not covered at all. The way that this works is when your COBRA insurance expires, you are eligible to obtain this insurance on your own, but you must first use all of your COBRA insurance. (I would contact them prior to your expiration). You can get more information here on how conversion plans work: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
This link is to the Department of Labor.

Next is your prescription medications; All 3 of your oral medications of citalopram, lovastatin, and lisinopril can be obtained for $4.00/30 day supply or $10.00 for a 90 day supply at large chain stores such as Walmart, Krogers, Target etc.. so your out of pocket expense would be $12.00 or $30.00. Your insulin I will need to do some more searching on locating some savings for you. You currently can get a savings on your Humolog with a savings of $143.00 Here: http://www.yourrxdiscounts.com/printabl ... &g=8013364 they also have a main site you can go to that has a list of the medications that currently have savings for many other medications. That site is http://www.yourrxdiscounts.com/index.php?g=8013364
there is no cost to obtaining the coupons or the drug card.

Hopefully this will get you started until I can do a more complete search for help for you. I did not find any assistance programs for your pump or supplies. The Nova Customer Care that you can call to see if maybe they can refer you to a assistance program. The number is 1-800-681-7390. I will get more info to you soon.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby NoPocketCash » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:00 pm

Hi strt722,

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your wife. I recently lost my father, and while that is not the same as losing a spouse I can still empathize with how difficult it must be for you.

I want to emphasize something you said that jimithy also noticed:

strt722 wrote:I don't feel that I could work anymore at least not full time .


You also mentioned that you've been being treated for depression for some time. If you lost your job for any reason that could have been related to your illness, you might want to look into the possibility of disability pay and benefits from your former employer. That would be most helpful since it would give you much needed insurance coverage.

Even if disability through your former employer turns out not to be an option, please look into Social Security Disability. Inability to work for at least one year because of mental illness, including depression, is taken as seriously as any physically visible reason. If you have a doctor who also feels that you are unable to work, filing a disability claim with Social Security could be very beneficial. Social Security Disability benefits are based on how much you earned when you worked, and are almost always higher than survivor or retirement benefits. And if you receive disability before reaching retirement age, your benefit amount would continue at the higher rate even after you reach retirement age.

If you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, make sure you list the actual date you became unable to work, not the date you are applying. If you are approved, your benefits could be retroactive to when you last worked. That is important not only because it would give you a lump sum payment to start, it would also accelerate how soon you could be eligible for Medicare. Under the Social Security Disability program you would be eligible for Medicare two years from the date it was determined you were no longer able to work.

Here is a Social Security booklet on the basics of Disability. http://ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html.

Best of luck to you. Please keep us posted on how you are doing!

NoPocketCash
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby dlcnurse » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:48 am

In researching sites for you insulin, I found 2 online pharmacy that provides Humalog. Prices per 1 vial are actually cheaper but when you buy in bulk, the cost savings is much more. Shipping is another issue when dealing with insulin. Some of the pharmacy's, the shipping time is anywhere from 6 days to 30 days. The 2 pharmacy's that have the best savings are http://www.northwestpharmacy.com and http://www.getcanadiandrugs.com For both of these if you are buying only 1 vial the cost is 44.99, 3 vials is 98.99 which lowers the cost per vial to 32.99 (without shipping cost, which is 10.00), if buying 5 vials, the cost would be 154.49 which brings the cost per vial to 30.89 (without shipping cost), if buying 10 vials, the cost would be 288.49, bringing the cost per vial to 28.85. Shipping time with NorthWest is 8-18 days. and shipping for Get Canadian Drugs is 4 to 21 days. The good thing is that both of this do have stores in the USA.
Another online pharmacy that also has great prices when buying in quantity is http://www.bigmountaindrugs.com For 5 vials the cost is 33.00 per vial, for 10 vials the cost per vial drops to 25.50 for a cost of 255.00. Shipping time varies from 6 days to 30 days. Shipping charge is 10.00. The only issues with this is the shipping time. You would have to contact them to ask about how they ship, and the length it takes to arrive from there to where you live. If you go to the sites for the stores, you can get more info and also contact them. They do not have any stores here in the US.
Other resources that you might be able to use is
http://www.needymeds.org With your income being low, you may qualify for their assistance program.
http://www.6995diabetes.com
http://www.isletsofhope.com
http://www.xubex.com
http://www.rxoutreach.com/eligibility_en.aspx
All of these sites have discounted diabetes supplies, medication, and resources that may benefit you.
Another source is the free clinics. They generally are based on income and for the most part cost on the average 20.00. http://www.freeclinics.us This brings up a map where you can look for your state.
I will continue to look and see if I can find any other resources that may be of use to you.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby strt722 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:31 am

Hi I appreciate all the help,I never expected so much insight ,you guys are great. I was receiving disability from my employer and it was stopped . According to Prudential there's no reason I can't work,they don't consider lack of concentration due to lack of sleep a disability. Also my hemoglobin A1C is well within range thanks to all the testing I do, which makes them think I don't have a problem with control . I also told my doctor that I was looking for a part time job with flexible hours and benefits ,he shared that information with Prudential and that seems to have disqualified me from any assistance from Prudential and probably Social Security ,which I have applied for Social Security disability ,so I'm in their system ,I got a call the other day to see if I would see another doctor of S.S's choice.I don't figure he will hurt me any worse than my own did . I know I could appeal Prudentials decision, but it's such a hassle dealing with them I'm ready to give up and hope Social Security will take me.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby Curious » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:29 pm

strt722,

No one is helping you with the cost of your infusion sets, reservoirs, and other supplies you need for you mini-med pump. I am not familiar with mini-med but I know some people use their infusion sets twice before removing them. If you keep all of the items that come in your reservoir package, some people use them a second time. They keep everything sealed in a baggy in the refridgerator. When they want to use the reservoir a second time then they dilute rubbing alcohol to sterilize it, the needle, etc. first.

I have never heard of anyone getting told this is safe to do. I know my doctor told me not to do it. If it is a choice between going back to injections and poor diabetes control or stretching dollars in order to keep using a pump, I don't know what is worst.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby NoPocketCash » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:04 pm

You do have some ground to make up to get your Social Security disability approved. When someone is depressed it is difficult for them to see all the ways they are truly affected by it. And even if they are seen, it can be embarrassing to admit them. For example, depression often affects a person's ability to care for themselves in "socially acceptable" ways like bathing regularly. Decision making abilities are usually impaired but a depressed person doesn't always realize it. Interacting with people can be difficult. This can cause withdrawal and isolation and/or lashing out or "exploding" at people. You may want to find a part time job with flexible hours and benefits but even if you found one, that does not mean you would be able to do it. The fact that you're looking for flexible hours indicates you may have trouble with keeping a schedule, which is a major effect of depression.

The first thing I suggest is to sit down and write a list of all the ways your depression is and has been affecting your life. Examples you may be experiencing could be inability to sleep, difficulty concentrating, personal hygiene, appetite, ability to prepare meals or clean the house or do laundry, desire to do things, ability to do the things you'd like to (and why - such as anxiety creating fear, etc), hopelessness, how you interact with people, what you do in a typical day, etc. It may be hard to even think about some of these things and admit the extent to which you are affected. Lack of sleep is a symptom that affects most activities of daily living, including ability to drive. Be brutally honest. This is by no means a complete list of depression's effects or a suggestion to lie about your symptoms and abilities, just to scrutinize them very carefully and critically. Here is a page that gives a very good overview of what I'm talking about: http://www.marthachurchill.com/ssmibasic.htm.

If there is a friend or family member who can write a letter or list of how they see your depression affecting you it can be very helpful because they have an objective view that you cannot. Input from doctors and people who know you are key to establishing disability and inability to work. Remember, it is inability to work that Prudential and Social Security are evaluating.

Start keeping a diary of what you do every day. A check list you make up of mood and activities is a good way to evaluate consistently and actually see things as they are rather than how you want them to be. Search the internet for charts, make one up yourself or simply keep a running log of what you do during a day. Here is an example of a daily diary page: http://web4health.info/it/bipolar-self-monitor.htm.

Talk to your original doctor (the one who submitted the information that you were looking for a job). Hopefully you are seeing him or her on a regular basis. Show him/her the lists, diary, and letters from friends or family. They will most likely have shown you how difficult it would be for you to hold even a part time, flexible job at this point. Tell him/her that you now realize you could not handle even that type of job at this point and make sure your records reflect all of this new information. It will not reach Social Security for your initial decision but if your claim is denied, you should appeal and provide all the new medical records, testimony of friends/family, new observations you have made, etc.

Make an appointment to see the doctor Social Security wants you to go to. Take the information you have put together and talk to him/her about it. Make a point of explaining that while you hope to be able to hold a flexible part time job at some time in the future, all of the symptoms you have listed make you realize it is unrealistic to think you could handle it now.

I do not know if it would be possible to open an appeal with Prudential but if so, make sure you include the information you've put together.

It's commendable that you are taking a lot of steps to deal with your depression and keep yourself going. That's a very important and effective method of support. Sitting down and looking at all the negative aspects depression has on your life can get you even more down, so make sure you have and use all the support systems you can.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby dlcnurse » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:42 pm

I have been reviewing resources for your minimed pump supplies and I must admit that I am not real familiar with the costs of these supplies. However, I can refer you to Lahle who does have an extensive resources for obtaining them. Her link is here: http://www.isletsofhope.com/diabetes/as ... ies-1.html You can obtain lots and lots of information on her site regarding diabetes. Her site for ipump.org is currently undergoing renovation so it is not available at this time but do keep it in mind for later use.
Another site I found is for http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com is also another site that does sell pump supplies. And again, I have not used this site and can not compare prices as I do not know what you are currently paying for them.

In regards to the disability, do take the time to look at the info on the site that NoPocketCash referred you to with the Social Security. In researching what meets their criteria, and what they require in documentation source. I took the liberty and review all of the literature myself and was really surprised in all the info they give you. Clicking on the diagnosis or by body systems really gives a more in depth information on what is prudent when filing for disability. Also, be sure and talk to your doctor about it and enlist his help with it. Your doctor does not make the decision but his imput can really be a good resource and be sure and ask for copies of any lab work, xrays, doctor visits, etc. to help you reach your goal. You should also be able to obtain copies from any specialists that you have seen in regards to your helath issues. The more you provide in the way of info, the better.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby strt722 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:41 am

Thanks again people , you've given me a lot of help I couldn't figure out . I'm probably not going to be able to qualify for the disability ,even though I am depressed according to a lot of these sites I've been looking at , I think the best way to fight it is to try to help other people,my diabetic condition is not helping, but I'm still going to try for a part time job doing just that . I think I'll die if I just sit here. Not a very smart move I know , but I'm kinda boxed in. Thanks again Mike
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby dlcnurse » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:08 pm

Depression is a illness like every other illness. Given the fact that you lost your spouse not long ago, it is understandable that the depression got worse. It takes a year or better to come to terms with the loss. I would encourage you to find a support group for "Dealing with Grief". Most local hospitals all have programs that you can inquire about. Believe me, they help. When I lost my granddaughter I was really in a mess for over a year. Sometimes we just have to do what we need to do for ourselves. Getting a part-time job actually will help you focus on other things. Which actually is a good thing. I have been where you are. Just know that you are not alone. I wish you the best. Glad that we could be of service to you.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby strt722 » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:49 am

Thanks again , I will keep all this info for reference. I really am sorry to hear of the loss of your granddaughter,I have two now that aren't three years old yet ,I just can't begin to imagine your heartbreak , I don't think I could survive that.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby strt722 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:56 am

Hello again , I've been reading over the material you provided and noticed you wanted updates , so here you go.I actually found a job with flexible short hours really going to be easy to do. A local food bank that serves shut ins and has a small caffeteria for underprivliged over 60 .I actually may be able to eat there myself I guess. As you can imagine no benefits, or much money ,but I want to try this, I've always wanted to do something like this , so I'm looking forward to it. I called the disability people at S.S and told them what was going on, I fiqured I might as well cancel my upcoming appointment with their mental doctor. She told me to keep it, that this wouldn't disqualify me for disability , so keep your fingers crossed for me. Also I was wondering if you had any other ideas about getting some kind of affordable health care for emergencies only, such as hospital care, forget about the drug care I will have to take shots again probably.
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby jimithy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:40 pm

strt722,

dlcnurse can definitely give you a better answer. I have searched for a reliable gov reference and have not found one. For one thing it is good to know how you are in relation to the "Federal Poverty Guidelines" ( http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-864p.pdf OR http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/11poverty.shtml OR http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/ OR many other places.)

Finding out if you meet your state's guidelines for Medicaid can be good to do. https://www.cms.gov/MedicaidEligibility/ especially https://www.cms.gov/MedicaidEligibility ... 061511.pdf

A good place to find info about the range of benefits available to you is at http://www.benefitscheckup.org/ (Soc. Sec. sends people to that site) They cover food, medical assistance, and medication assistance. ( i.e. You are probably eligible for food stamps and that frees up money for other purposes.)

AS I UNDERSTAND IT... Any hospital must give you "emergency care" for any "life threatening" condition regardless of your ability to pay. Since the hospital never expects someone in a poverty situation to ever be able to pay, they tend to write it off (other patients pay for it). If you don't want to feel like a deadbeat then the hospital often is VERY flexible as to a payment plan. A friend of mine has been paying a hospital $15 a month for the last 6 years.

dlcnurse already gave you info on Free Clinics and how to locate them. They are for "non-emergency care" for "non-life threatening" conditions.

Something I have never asked... Are you a veteran of ANY U.S. military branch? (active, reservist, National Guard, etc.) If so then posting in our Veterans subject area could get you important information. There are more services available to vets than just the VA medical system. People tend to treat poverty stricken vets differently than the other millions of good, noble people out there that happen to also be poverty stricken.

NOTE: Many income/asset measurements are based upon the previous calendar year (when you had more money). Don't despair, explain your situation and there are often waivers. Also, time flies at our age :-) . Knowing you will qualify in "X" months is good. You can set an alarm on your computer to pop up and remind you a few months in advance to apply for those benefits.

Good luck,

jimithy
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Re: I'm 60 and unemployed , type 1 diabetic

Postby NoPocketCash » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:23 pm

strt722 wrote:Hello again , I've been reading over the material you provided and noticed you wanted updates , so here you go.I actually found a job with flexible short hours really going to be easy to do. A local food bank that serves shut ins and has a small caffeteria for underprivliged over 60 .I actually may be able to eat there myself I guess. As you can imagine no benefits, or much money ,but I want to try this, I've always wanted to do something like this , so I'm looking forward to it. I called the disability people at S.S and told them what was going on, I fiqured I might as well cancel my upcoming appointment with their mental doctor. She told me to keep it, that this wouldn't disqualify me for disability , so keep your fingers crossed for me. Also I was wondering if you had any other ideas about getting some kind of affordable health care for emergencies only, such as hospital care, forget about the drug care I will have to take shots again probably.


Thanks for the update! I'm really glad to hear about the job and also about what Social Security said, and my fingers are crossed for you on both things. (Hard to type this way! :lol:) You are obviously working hard at finding solutions and it's good to see you are finding some possibilities.

I thought of something that is kind of unusual but has worked for some people I know. I have no idea if you live in an area that has a high cost of living. Somebody I know found herself in a similar situation to what a lot of us have gone through. She lived in the MidAtlantic area that was great when she could keep up with her professional career but when she became disabled and couldn't bring in a decent income anymore she just couldn't afford it. She was lucky enough not to have too many things keeping her where she was and she researched areas that had a much lower cost of living. She found one in a part of the country she liked and actually moved there. There's not as many job opportunities and the medical care isn't as good, but housing is really cheap and because so many people have low incomes what is available costs a lot less or is free. There are a lot of community medical clinics that are sliding scale based on what you can afford to pay - which is usually free - and hospitals that are used to providing the charity or poverty care I think jimithy mentioned in his post. She says there are trade offs and it takes getting used to a different lifestyle and pace of living, but one thing she really likes is that there are so many ways she can volunteer and help other people. And she says it also helps her a lot that she has so much less stress in her life now.

If moving is appealing to you, some of the states with the highest cost of living might also be an option. New Jersey is one I know a little about. It has the 2nd highest cost of living of all the states but because of all the pharmaceutical companies located there they have some programs and resources not available elsewhere, especially once you reach 65 or if you do get on Social Security disability. NJ actually has a program called PAAD (Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled) that allows income up to about $24,000 a year and provides coverage with copays of only $5 for generics and $7 for brand name medications. I think the pharmaceutical companies also offer some individual programs to NJ residents that aren't available elsewhere.

Not saying these are options for you but just putting them out here in case they spur an idea for you or somebody else who might come along and read them in the future.

I'm really happy you've found some things that can help you out....keep up the good work and my fingers will stay crossed!

NoPocketCash

This is an unconventional option and I don't know if it's something that might work for you but I figured I'd put it out here just in case.
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