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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How do you afford treatment?

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Author Topic: How do you afford treatment?
Allison Smith
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How does anyone afford treatment? I feel hopeless! I found a doctor in Texas, seems great. The whole staff willing to help. But he charges $375/hr. That's just his fee, not counting labs and medicine. How is it possible for anyone to get treatment. My husband makes enough money for our family of EIGHT, but not enought to pay $750 upfront for the first doctors appointment. I'm going to have to accept that I will be in a wheelchair the rest of my life and my 6 kids will not have their mom back. How long can a person stay in this much pain?
Posts: 94 | From Greenville, Tx | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
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Allison, I emailed you privately. There are several around, one in Louisiana that's supposed to good and someone in Denton.

Never been to the one in Denton and don't know anything about his treatments but he's supposed to be good.

Only charges about 75 per visit.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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tickedntx
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Allison:

I don't have any answers for you, but if you write to me at [email protected], I can send you some information that might help you find resources through local contacts.

You might also consider asking friends or local GirlBoy Scout troops, etc. to help you with fundraiser, like bake sales, car washes... Things that kids enjoy doing. Perhaps set up an account at a bank that would monitor payments to give people confidence that you are legitimiately in need.

--------------------
Suzanne Shaps
STAND UP FOR LYME Texas (www.standupforlyme.org)
(Please email all correspondence related to protecting Texas LLMDs to [email protected] with copy to [email protected])

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Lymetoo
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I don't know which dr you are referring to, but listen to randibear about who NOT to see.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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randibear
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Hey, TexasTutu, I just wanted to let you know that I have been extremely down today.

My symptoms are acting up again--dang.

your comments about who to see just sort of cheered me up. That somebody actually would support something I said made me feel good. Somebody believed me...... Amazing....

Big hug and smooch..........

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Lymetoo
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[group hug] I've heard it from too many to disagree with you!
[group hug]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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mrsdizzy
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I was wondering the same thing. I'm seeing Dr and it's costing me more than I can afford. I cannot pay by the minute, it would cost thousands just to feel better!!!!!! I don't know what to do, I cannot afford this and it's crucial that I get this treatment. I'm not trying to play poor woman here, however, sometimes it just seems unfair to have to live life feeling so ill.

I'm sorry to have this be my first post, however, I feel the same way....it's tough [confused]

[ 27. April 2007, 12:27 AM: Message edited by: mrsdizzy ]

--------------------
"don't ever write anyone off, you'll never know who or what they will become"

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perplexed
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I agree with the high costs of some LLMDs. Not only is the visit, meds etc expensive, but alot of LLMDs will not even take medical insurance now. I just cannot afford to pay up front and let the insurance company pay you back later. I also have Medicare, and alot of LLMDs have stopped using Medicare. It leaves some of us folks in a hopeless pickle.

Hugs, perplexed [confused]

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Allison Smith
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People have told me they put 2nd and third mortgages on their houses and take out loans and what not. I just can't do that. I have more aliments than just the Lymes. My back bone is fused due to severe scoliosis from T9-L5 with two eighteen inch metal rods. Basically it's fused from the middle of my shoulder blades down to my tailbone. I still need surgery for that for the third time. But the doctors want to know how much of the pain is due to my back and much is due to the Lymes. I can't tell them because I can't get treatment for the Lymes. I have so many other medical bills that people laugh if I try to get any kind of loan. People say if you truly want treatment you'll find a way, but having food on the table for my children is crucial and takes priority. I'm not whinning, I'm more just amazed as to WHY we can't get affordable treatment. People who eat themselves into obesity can even get treatment paid by insurance companies and by medicaid and medicare, but not people with Lymes. Anyhow, I was just wondering how people are affording this. It just seems impossible for a person of average means to get treatment and was wondering if I was missing something.
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efsd25
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I could not afford the doctors or the antibiotics after my first 2 years of treatment, so I turned to rife - best decision I ever made.

My Lyme is under control, and except for the initial investment of a rife machine, my treatments are about the cost of running a washing machine.

Ernie

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efsd25
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I could not afford the doctors or the antibiotics after my first 2 years of treatment, so I turned to rife - best decision I ever made.

My Lyme is under control, and except for the initial investment of a rife machine, my treatments are about the cost of running a washing machine.

Ernie

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WildCondor
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Are you disabled from Lyme? Can you get medicare? Some LLMD's take medicare. Let the doc know your situation, and ask about needy and free meds programs for prescriptions.

 -

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Melanie Reber
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I know it is very difficult to find and afford treatment...we all seem to struggle with this one.

Many patients just have to "make do" however they can, there is no one easy answer that works for everyone. We do what we can as we can.

This isn't optimal, but it is reality.

I second the suggestion to speak with your health care provider re: the expenses involved. Almost all LLMDs are highly sympathetic to our plights, and are more than willing to work WITH us to afford treatment.

Hoping the following link will offer a few other suggestions to help.

My best,
Melanie

Methods of Coping with Financial Burdens: http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=035162#000016

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sixgoofykids
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Allison, can you borrow money from your parents? Can you get a loan? Friends?

I would do whatever I had to do to get treatment. I pay for doctor's visits, but my insurance covers meds.

Fortunately, we're in a good financial position ... if it were years ago, I'd go to my dad for money. Even now he's told me he'll help if I need it. He doesn't want me to skip treatments that will work because I feel they are too expensive.

I also think it's a good idea to go LLMD shopping for someone you can afford, yet who will treat you so you get better.

I'd also look into alternative treatments ... but even then, supplements are expensive.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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Allison Smith
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Thank you for all your suggestions. My parents are a no go. My dad lost his job after 9/11 and makes $30,000 less a year than he did. My husband also lost his job after 9/11 and we still aren't up to where he was making.

Loans are a no go due to all the medical bills in collections right now. But I have tried. Right now I'm just shopping around hoping to find a doc that will take insurance and the insurance will actually pay.

I'll just treat what I can with supplements, those are all good suggestions and you all have been great in suggesting which ones...thanks!

I'm not giving up, I have my kids to think of!

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5dana8
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sorry double post

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5dana8

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5dana8
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How about trying some herbs for now till you can afford treament?

They are alot cheaper than rx's.

hang in there
[group hug] Dana

here's the link:

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=029917

*sorry I could not put up the original link. Click on the link above & scroll down to "herbs"

Then click on the link called "MariaA posted these links on 1-12-07

--------------------
5dana8

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CaliforniaLyme
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EASY- my LLMD is $10 co-pay every visit!!!

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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Allison Smith
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Easy for those who live in California or who can afford to travel there. Not so easy for everyone else.
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bettyg
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Originally posted by CaliforniaLyme:
[EASY- my LLMD is $10 co-pay every visit!!!


i agree with alison; califlyme; you can count your blessings on this one! many don't have the luxuries that you have. good luck to all.

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CaliforniaLyme
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My first LLMD for 5 years was much more- but worth EVERY penny!!!

We would ALL have that luxury if all our LLMDs were not afraid to take insurance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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MariaA
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here you go, direct link to the herbal threads:
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=050753#000000


Herbal treatment isn't a substitute for having a good doctor, but unfortunately a lot of people are on the 'save yourself' plan and it's one set of tools in the box for those folks.

--------------------
Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
Homemade Probiotics thread
Herbal Links Thread

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Andie333
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I struggled with finances a lot initially, as I think many many people do.

Initially, I decided not to see any LLMD who didn't take insurance, but that decision didn't last long. The LLMD that made sense did not take insurance.

I was only employed on a semi-part-time basis. I had medical insurance (so I was more fortunate than some), though I paid more than $500 a month for it.

I decided I had to make getting well my first priority and to try and do whatever that took. So I:

took a second mtg on my house (and then took another one)

swallowed my pride and asked for (and did get) help from families and friends

sold things on ebay

pared my life down to barest essentials, just to afford minimum care.

Now almost two years later, I'm feeling well enough to work full time, so I have company medical insurance. I'm still trying to pay off the mortgage loans, but at least I'm making progress on that.

I guess for me, I realized I was in the fight of my life and decided to do whatever I possibly could to turn this thing around.

I realize I'm in a better situation than some and less fortunate than others. I know my solutions were based on the resources I had available. I also know asking for that kind of help was unbelievably hard.

And I'll never ever forget the kindness and generosity I witnessed in most of the people around me.

I really hope you're able to find some solutions that work for you and for your family!

Andie

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Robin123
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I guess a major problem is that docs don't seem to be taking insurance. Not sure of all the reasons why. If folks here want to fill me in on why docs aren't taking insurance, fine, 'cause it's really hurting us who need to see them.

They're also not taking Medicare.

I think alot of the public is stranded unless they have a lot of money. And if you're sick, you might not.

Here I am, as an activist, telling people about the spread of Lyme disease and co-infections, and I feel really bad about this situation, because I think a lot of people are not going to have the money to get care.

It is definitely a class issue. What am I supposed to tell poor people? Nothing? Let them have no clue about what hit them or what's about to hit them?

And medical offices have not been willing to drop their fees for those of us who are low income.

This is a huge problem in terms of getting care for being sick. Actually, I consider lack of health care coverage as much of a disaster as these diseases are.

Ultimately, I think we really need public health clinics to do this job. But, unfortunately, we all know the politics on that...

So, having said all this, I'm thinking we will have to become our own LLMDs -- that is, take on the responsibility of reading about Lyme/co symptoms, tests and treatments, read the Burrascano guidelines, read everything people are saying about tests and things they're trying.

Then, to try to find a non-LLMD who would be willing to work with you as you educate them about tests and treatments.

I have gotten assistance from non-LLMDs, and frankly, it's a lot easier for them if I come in knowing more rather than less about Lyme/co symptoms/tests/treatments, and knowing which antibiotics have worked for me in past usage for other problems and which don't.

You can get the bloodtest form mailed to you from IGeneX. A Lyme activist explained it all to me, checked off the right tests for Lyme and co's, my doctor(who took my insurance) signed off on it, and I got the tests done.

In other words, start to consider how you might be able to manage any aspects of these informational/action tasks, and in so doing, start to reclaim your power as a human being who has a right to health and life.

Soapbox time!

The drawback is, of course, that I am not an LLMD and am missing a lot of what they know.

Anyway, these are my thoughts for now. I am with the original poster. You should be able to go to the doctor when you're sick and get the help you need.

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humanbeing
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LLMD's don't take insurance because insurance companies drop them for treating lyme.

However, you may be able to find a regular doc who is open-minded and will treat you based on dr. b's guidelines or a rotational abx approach.

There are a few here in CT who don't want to be called LLMD's but do want to help their lyme pts.

Some Naturopathic Docs take insurance and could get you access to rife and good herbal treatments.

Read the book "Top Ten Lyme Disease Treatments"...it is very empowering about taking charge and not having a vicim attitude (like me).

There are people working hard to change the laws and get us out of this mess, in the mean time we all must get educated and get treatment one way or another.

Thanks Gd for lymenet--saved my life many times

[group hug] :grouphug:Kim

--------------------
We are spiritual beings on a human journey...

www.ruggierogallery.com

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humanbeing
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up for more input...this is an important topic

--------------------
We are spiritual beings on a human journey...

www.ruggierogallery.com

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MagicAcorn
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My doctor takes my insurance and always has. The doctor before him did too, and so did the team that delivered my little nut also.

Aetna balked once and the head of the infectious disease department said, "okay, I'll just admit her then - how about that?" Guess who got IV rocephin, and a visiting nurse service the next day.

Being sick with the normal deductibles, co-pays for visits and meds are enough for me. I refuse to go to a doctor who does not take insurance.

--------------------
 -

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caat
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quote:
It is definitely a class issue. What am I supposed to tell poor people? Nothing? Let them have no clue about what hit them or what's about to hit them?

Yes it most certainly is...

I treated myself with high dose doxycycline for 3 years until I could afford an LLMD. It helped immensely and held the meningitis at bay. I used animal doxycycline.

I also read everything I could and thought about it a great deal. Then I saw a doctor who had less experience but reads everything he can. We work together on therapies. It is still expensive but less so and is definitely worth it.

I wish I had had access to someone who could treat lyme and co-infections much much sooner...

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farah
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It is unfortunate, but a lot of us have been on the "save yourself plan" as mentioned before.

In addition to the alternative therapies (which I totally stand by and advocate), when I needed antibiotics, I often went to Mexico or found them online.

I haven't done this for a long time now, but when you are desperate, uninsured or insurance and doctors do not cooperate, it is an option to consider to have access to needed medications.

I also went to medical libraries and looked at PubMed online and sifted through the Internet, and tried to read as many research papers and reading material I could get my hands on for myself.

Also, seeing a doctor is not always a guarantee of proper help. We all need to educate and empower ourselves. Doctors and other medical professionals can advise us, help us on our path, and help us get access to needed treatment, but ultimately we are left with the day to day job of struggling to heal and get well.

Farah

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Vanilla
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I could not get a good test or get seen by a LLMD for years due to lack of income from being sick and undiagnosed by regular MDs and shrinks that were blind to Lyme disease and would not listen to their patient.

I think there is something wrong with a country where you have to be wealthy in order to get a tick bite and deal with this disease.

Why do so many LLMDs not take insurance? What is the deal???... Not that I have decent insurance that pays for anything anyway but I am still wondering.

I have been seen by 2 LLMDs and they do not take insurance and insist on deposits before you are ever seen.

I guess we all have one heck of a classy disease just meant for the wealthy....

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heiwalove
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i agree, it absolutely is a class issue. i'm off treatment right now because i can't afford it any longer. i'm thinking of starting buhner's protocol soon.

SO frustrating, just.. all of it. my heart breaks for people who are already poverty-stricken, who come down with this horrible disease.

--------------------
http://www.myspace.com/violinexplosion

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jaime1978
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so if a regular doctor is willing to work with you and treat your lyme, how is it that the insurance wont drop him too? They only drop someone if that's what the specifically deal in? I'm confused on this whole thing.
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Kendrick
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Let's see...

Diagnosed in December.

$14,000 worth of blood work, was told approved by insurance at lab, but wasn't.

approx. $4k to LLMD

after 2 months of treatment, ended up in ER 4 times at approx $2-3k a piece = $10k.

After 2 months of treatment, constant episodes... mostly confined to mattress, sometimes crawling just to make it to bathroom, body goes into shock---> feeling like I'm going to die...probably will.

Before treatment--started with sick building ears, nose, throat swollen, vertigo, sensitivity to computers and light, but lived at my own house, went out to eat with friends once a week, grocery shopped... took care of myself halfway(couldn't work though). I even smoked and now I can't hardly breathe, and I pass out if I attempt to take one 'drag' off a cigarette.

I paid $28k to nearly die, be bedridden, no hopes of getting out of (mom's) house again(besides dr's visits), and I can't tolerate any medicines, not even something as simple as nasal spray.

No one is going to pay for future visits for me to die, and the bank has no choice but to cover my past expenses. I'm stuck between life and death, and it cost me $28k.

And it doesn't matter how much money you have. I worked 35 hours a week my junior and senior year of high school, then worked 40-50 hours a week through 7 years of college to make good money. My last job paid very well, and I've gone through $60k in last 7 months(not all medical treatment), to be near-death.

--------------------
Never walk through a cornfield backwards.

About me(Yahoo): http://360.yahoo.com/profile-NR1Y8cw6fqhtrewwItSlfsgQDIhaOojd

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Vermont_Lymie
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High-dose amoxicillin is relatively cheap, compared to other antibiotics.

I supplement amoxicillin with a wide range of buhner herbs and other supplements.

amoxicillin is supposed to cross the bbb at high-doses, but not at the level that most doctors would prescribe.

that being said, after many months on amoxicillin, from medium-dose to high-dose more recently, my symptoms are much better but i obviously still have far to go..

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