single and taking care of myslef...

being single in this society comes with a mess of problems on its own.

birthdays are suppose to be a celebration but since i am turing 26 i am dreading the day because it means i am losing my insurance. being single means finding and affording insurance on my own. cancer threw a bump in my road to a career so insurance through work isnt an option. how do you get/afford insurance on your own?

i also live in a studio on my own. i have always lived in a fairly sterile environment so finding a roommate that can live with my medical issues is beyond terrifying. i have had roommates before and i feel very lucky for that but it is no longer an option. i have been trying to find someone for about two years already with no prospects. where i live the cheapest studio is about 1000/mo. not something a single person can afford. does anyone else live on their own? do you have people who check on you regularly during/after treatment? who drives you to appointments? if you cant work, how do you afford rent and utilities?

food is another issue i am snagging. i really want to eat healthy but who can afford it! fruits and veggies are expensive. i dont even bother buying meat. i mostly eat oatmeal, bananas, apples, and yogurt. i splurg on yogurt and apples. i try to buy lettuce but it always goes bad before i can eat it. im allergic to bread so sandwiches and pasta are no good. where do you shop? are there any farm fresh programs? i know they have some programs up north, i am in so cal.

since i am not working i decided on going back to school. so i will at least have student loans to live off of. where do you find income?

lots of questions :) just signed a new apartment lease so im nervous. especially with insurance looming over my head. i already cancelled all my summer vacation plans to cover moving costs. gives me about a month to find 1000 for my schools insurance policy. and about two weeks to figure out how to stock my apartment with some healthy grub :)

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  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I'm in a VERY similar situation. I haven't figured it out either haha. The best I've come up with is, after contacting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I found that my state has a pre-existing insurance program. She said that every state must now offer one. I don't know how true all this is, but, according to her, it will 1) be very difficult to get insurance and 2) if you do get insurance it's likely that it'll come with a stipulation that they won't cover anything related to your illness(which, the way most insurance companies are, they'll probably claim anything that happens to you is related). The best option I've found is the one my state offers, however, being in the same financial situation as you(and going back to school) I can't even afford that.
    The next option she gave me, and really and truely, the best option I've found, is an indigency program. My country offers one that's basically set up like insurance but takes your income into account. So, if you can only pay $15 a month, that's all you pay. Your choices as far as who you go to are limited so hopefully if your county/state offers something like this the health care providers they mandate you go to will be sufficient(the network I'm in has a specialist so I get to upgrade from my crappy doctor).
    Really, all of the stuff I said is completely case by case and depends on alot of factors. What I'd recommend is calling your local LLS chapter and ask for advice/help. Sometimes they have money(my chapter is out for the year) but they always have great advice.

    Good luck!
  • SC1008SC1008 Community Member
    Hi,

    I can so relate to the both of you. I'm also single, still "disabled" post treatment, and trying to do this all myself. I've called tons of organizations to try and find help with the questions you've asked, and though you might not find total help with everything, there are a bunch of organizations out there that can help with the areas you've mentioned, and can make things a bit easier or at least bearable. Things differs from state to state though, so I'll keep my recommendations general. But one of the easiest ways to find local resources is by contacting the oncology social worker at your treatment center/hospital. They can be super helpful, tell them just what you told us, they deal with it all the time. That might be the easiest 1st step, because they can give you places to call, instead of you just looking around for them yourself.

    It's not easy finding resources, and it does take a lot of work calling around sometimes, but if you try some of the main organizations first, they can help narrow things down. It is worth it though to put in the effort, especially when things are so important. I'll list some organizations I've found helpful below...

    -Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS): http://www.lls.org/ 1.800.955.4572
    Like the above poster mentioned, they can be super helpful in suggesting/providing resources that apply to you. They've helped me so much financially. There's a program that helps give you money towards insurance premiums, and it's been a lifesaver for me. So if you ever get insurance, they may be able to help a little with the premiums.. it can be up to $5,000/yr, if their funding lasts. There's also a $100/yr stipend that you may qualify for. Not a whole lot, but it still helps!

    -American Cancer Society (ACS): http://www.cancer.org/ 1 800-227-2345
    Another good one to call, you tell them what you're looking for and they'll try to find both national/local resources to help. You also mentioned about finding rides to treatment.. I can't drive due to how I feel either, and they've been helpful, they have a program called Road to Recovery, where volunteer drivers can help take you to appts. Sometimes it varies by towns, and also driver availability. But it's definitely worth a shot looking into. Also, sometimes the hospital may have a transport service, it didnt' work out in my case, but transportation is another important thing to ask your local social worker about.

    -211 (http://www.211.org/): Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. It's the national number, but they will direct you to local resources so you can find what's in your area.

    -Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): http://patientadvocate.org/ (800) 532-5274
    They help with insurance, employment, medical debt issues. You call them and they'll call you back with any local/national resources that can help. They helped me understand my options a lot better.

    Those are the main ones I'd start out with.. 211 and your local social worker can probably help you with local things such as food, help with rent/utilities, etc. I actually did a meals on wheels type program.. sounds funny, but i needed it after treatment, I couldnt go food shopping yet,etc.. and often they have reduced rates/financial aid.. some programs listen to dietary restrictions, but you'd have to see... also your hospitals nutritionist might know about how to help with some of the food issues you described..

    Other organizations I've found helpful...
    -Cancer Care: http://www.cancercare.org/ 1-800-813-HOPE (4673)
    They can not only send you books of financial, insurance/Rx, etc resources.. but they also offer free counseling services with oncology social workers, either 1-1 by phone, or online groups, or sometimes in person depending where you live. I loved the 1-1 counseling.. with all the craziness going on, and doing a lot of it alone, it was helpful to have them as a resource, someone to vent to, and someone to help give coping strategies, cause we're dealing with a lot.

    -Cancer Legal Resource Center: https://www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/about/cancerlegalresource.cfm 866-843-2572
    They can help you understand insurance or employment type issues.. the laws that can protect/hurt you... any local resources that can help. They'll do an intake and call you back like PAF.

    Hope that helps and wasn't too overwhelming! You don't have to do it all at once.. I just started with one thing and worked my way through as I needed. You might not even have to call around much, your local social might even help with a lot of it. Best of luck to you, I can totally sympathize with you. It's scary and challenging to go through, but you can get through it. Just don't be afraid to ask questions, ask for help, and push for the resources you need. Sometimes places tried to deny me saying I was "too young".. but that's not always the case.. a lot of programs are for "seniors AND disabled".. .and cancer can count as the "disability".... so don't be afraid to push for what you need, in the end, it'll be worth it.
    Hang in there, and hope you find some help soon!
  • SC1008SC1008 Community Member
    Oh and one more imporant thing!... if you're physically unable to work.. ask your social worker about or contact your state's disability dept. You may qualify for temporary disability... for me that lasted 6mo.... then after that.. if you're still disabled, you may be able to try for Social security disability.. that's a tough one and can take a long time though.
    Also, you mentioned going back to school.. sometimes there are scholarship programs for young adults that can help. Some are listed at the link below... they also have other financial help for young adults listed there too..
    http://stupidcancer.com/community/i2y-money.shtml