Author Topic: My aunt is uninsured and has stage 4 breast cancer, what are her options?  (Read 1398 times)

aceyou

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Hello forum, this is not the question I want to ask, but here goes:

My aunt has stage 4 breast cancer
Spent most of her working career teaching in Kuwait.
Is not a Kuwait citizen, and her care there is getting way too expensive.
Will be moving back home in june.
Will live in Michigan upon returning.
Owns a house outright with probably 200k equity.
I doubt she has much cash or retirement savings.
Will not have an income when she returns.

Is Medicaid and option, and if so what would that look like for her treatment options/cost?

Is the ACA an option for her, and if so what that look like for her treatment/costs?

Are there other options she should pursue?

Her assets are a large family network...she is one of 10 siblings...I'm one of her many nephews/neices.   A GoFundMe has been set up and has raised about 6k, my wife and I contributed 250.  We can certainly chip in 500/1000 per year and would be happy to, but i feel like helping her navigate her options here in the US may be where I can have the biggest impact.   

Any advice would be appreciated more than any question I asked on this forum combined.   Thank you and happy new year.

Bernard

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What is her age?

wellactually

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How old is she?

If she has no income, she should be eligible for medicaid: https://www.michigan.gov/healthymiplan/0,5668,7-326-67874---,00.html

Her house seems like it would be an excluded asset regardless, but MI uses MAGI to calculate eligibility.

I'd probably start researching which medical systems / oncologists accept medicaid for cancer care. My parents were hoping to switch from a private plan to ACA plan during the last open enrollment, but he's in the middle of treatment for round two of prostate cancer and the ACA plans would require he completely switch medical facilities mid-treatment to be with a network facility/doctor. It would have saved them $10k out of pocket to make the switch. I think it's pretty impossible to even guess what the costs will look like with medicaid or ACA since her treatment plan and coverage could vary.

This link had some decent info too: https://www.breastcancer.org/tips/paying/no_insurance

Sibley

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This is going to be really blunt and callous, but I think it needs to be asked.

What is her life expectancy?

Stage 4 to my understanding is perhaps manageable, but ultimately terminal. That presents a different set of needs than active treatment to pursue remission. And if she's moving in June - that's 6 months away. Given her condition today, how likely is it that she'll be able to travel in June?

Medicaid is probably the best option if she qualifies. You'd have to research the Michigan eligibility requirements, regulations, etc. But also investigate if she may be eligible for Medicare as well. In combination the two can cover quite a bit, though the logistics of managing both are not easy for people.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Cancer sucks.

GizmoTX

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When my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, her maximum life expectancy was 2 months without any treatment. Since she also had emphysema, going for a cure or remission was not an option. She had some chemo & later radiation for quality of life, & lived about 11 months after diagnosis. She had hospice care at my house during her last 2 months.

moneypitfeeder

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My mom had stage 3 BC and is on medicare plus a supplement. Her surgery was covered by medicare. The oncology place she went to had people assigned to look into all the grants and financial support from foundations for their patients and she ended not owing a penny for all her treatments. (she also has considerable assets) All in all I think she might have spent sub $500 for some of the office visits/meds/ect. Best of luck to your aunt and I hope she is able to get the treatment and support she needs.

Shane

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Since Michigan has accepted Medicaid expansion, if your aunt is under 65, she should qualify, since she'll have no income. This would be her best case scenario, as Medicaid will pay 100% of any/all care recommended by her doctors. If your aunt's 65 or over, Medicare will pay for hospice, but she'll need friends or family members to help her when she gets to that point. If your aunt wants to have unskilled in home care or in patient hospice care, traditional Medicaid will pay for it, but Medicaid will take any/all of your aunt's assets, including her house. Sorry you're having to deal with this.