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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2007
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    586

    Default Any help with hospitalization cost for pros with no health ins?

    Hi all,

    Well it's finally happened to me and I'm kicking myself for not getting some kind of health insurance.

    I was training one of my small green ponys and she put her head between her legs and got me off. The fall was nothing until she panicked and stepped on my chest and hit me in the head with her leg.

    Two nights in the hospital, several CT scans and x rays shows that I have 2 broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken nose.

    So of course now I'm worried about the bills. I just recently started my business so my income is still very low.

    I was wondering if USEF or USHJA have any programs to help out in these situations? Or any funding out there to help someone like me? Or can I negotiate with the hospital?

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks for any input.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,845

    Default

    Most likely you will end up having to declare bancruptcy. I am sorry for your predicament, hopefully it will serve as a lesson to others. Jingling for a speedy recovery.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    I have an inexpensive program that would have helped with your bills but you cannot buy it after the incident.

    However you can negotiate HARD with the health care providers. They would rather get something than nothing.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Loudoun County, VA
    Posts
    10,423

    Default

    I posted this elsewhere:

    You might try the American Hunter Jumper Foundation; they have an Emergency Relief Fund. Eligibility for grants for emergency medical expenses is determined by the Board of the AHJF; I am not sure if you have to be a member of the organization to be eligible, but it is worth inquiring with them about possible assistance.

    http://www.ahjf.org/programs-relief-fund.shtml

    Phone:
    508.835.8813
    Email ahjf@earthlink.net

    In addition, Care Credit offers low interest and no interest credit lines for medical expenses (though often these are quite small - under 10K or so). Many medical providers accept Care Credit (you can even use it for vet bills if the vet has signed up with them) www.carecredit.com


    In addition, Edgewood suggested the following:

    #4 Jul. 16, 2009, 09:59 AM
    Edgewood



    I thought that maybe this organization had something that might help. Worth a look

    http://www.eppha.org/
    __________________
    Kris
    Edgewood Meadow Farm
    www.edgewoodmeadowfarm.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,918

    Default

    Call the financial dept at the hospital and negotiate a payment plan. It will keep your account from going to collections (most important thing). I had to fill out a hardship form and it cut my ($75,000) bill by half.

    ETA: Call ASAP, don't wait until you receive a bill.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2001
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Posts
    2,689

    Default

    Are you a member of the National Professional Horsemens Assoc?
    They provide emergency financial benefits under a variety of circumstances.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2006
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    Definitely get right on to the hospital as soon the bills start to come in and get negotiating. The thing with insurance is not so much that it pays the bills as that it negotiates the bill that it pays right down. I worked for a while chasing up personal injury claims and you'd be shocked at how little of the bill the insurance actually pays - as little as 10% for example, and rarely more than 70% - and some parts of some bills, they pay $0 ! You, as the uninsured client, alas, get to pay the full whack. However, you can negotiate.

    FWIW, in future, get yourself no-payout insurance. Mine, for example, is set up so that as and when I get hurt, I have to pay all the bills myself. My excess is so high, that (for accidents) I will approximately never meet my excess. I pay all my hospital bills. The crazy point being that my hospital bills are ridiculously lower than yours - all I bought was the insurance company's negotiating power. How messed up is that for a healthcare system ?

    Hope you recover quick and don't hurt too much



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Wynnewood, Oklahoma
    Posts
    5,195

    Default

    Boy oh boy...that's tough. And boy can I empathize!!! When we first moved to Oklahoma, Jos had gone back to Canada for a month and the only people I knew locally was my vet and her assistant! Cyndi DeBracy lived 100 miles away and drove up to feed and water my critters while I was in the hospital (thank YOU Cyndi!!! I will be forever in your debt! Friends like you are worth their weight in gold.). No insurance and woke up one morning with kidney stones...big ones. People LIE about how painful they are <lol>. They're worse! Managed to drag myself around and get all horses fed and watered and hauled my pathetic carcass into the local hospital. They informed me that I could get someone to drive me up to OKC for surgery or take an ambulance. Yeah...ambulance = $$$$ and no one to drive me up. I did it myself - got pulled over for speeding <rolling eyes>...but made it. Kept telling EVERYONE along the way that I was self-insured!!! Emphasized that. I got excellent care and was amazed at how helpful and kind everyone was. The physician gave me options. The nurses figured out a way to keep me in overnight without it costing me an additional day in the hospital, etc. CALL the billing department of the hospital and speak with them. And do NOT delay on it. Most public hospitals that receive state and/or federal funding are required to discount or assist low income individuals. You will be required to complete LOTS of paperwork. Do NOT delay on that as there are time limits for getting the paperwork in.

    After all was said and done, my hospital and doctor bill was still over $18,000. We pay a little on it every month and so long as you continue to make payments, everyone is happy.

    Insurance is really, really frustrating. The cost is so high and if you get a reasonable policy, your deductible is probably through the roof. We figured that it was pretty much a "wash" on the costs if I had insurance with a $10,000 deductible, and considering our monthly premium for a year, we'd have been close to paying the same amount. My REAL fear is what would happen if one of us became injured or sick, our income evaporates. Oklahoma fortunately has a phenomenal insurance program to help self-employed individuals that was implemented last year. So, at least we've got that end of things covered...sorta.

    Good luck and hope you feel better.
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    Definitely negotiate HARD for a payment plan. The KEY is to make sure you pay it EVERY month. If $25 a month is all you can pay, make sure you pay that - even if the hospital says it is not enough. Pay SOMETHING every month. Your bill may take 20/50 years to pay off, but it will keep you out of collections, & keep your credit rating in good shape.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2007
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KateWooten View Post
    Definitely get right on to the hospital as soon the bills start to come in and get negotiating. The thing with insurance is not so much that it pays the bills as that it negotiates the bill that it pays right down. I worked for a while chasing up personal injury claims and you'd be shocked at how little of the bill the insurance actually pays - as little as 10% for example, and rarely more than 70% - and some parts of some bills, they pay $0 ! You, as the uninsured client, alas, get to pay the full whack. However, you can negotiate.

    FWIW, in future, get yourself no-payout insurance. Mine, for example, is set up so that as and when I get hurt, I have to pay all the bills myself. My excess is so high, that (for accidents) I will approximately never meet my excess. I pay all my hospital bills. The crazy point being that my hospital bills are ridiculously lower than yours - all I bought was the insurance company's negotiating power. How messed up is that for a healthcare system ?

    Hope you recover quick and don't hurt too much
    Insurance is crazy - my husband is a small business owner, and we (and his partners and his staff) are all insured, but we pay OUT THE NOSE for it (like $3,000/couple MONTHLY!). With deductibles and hefty co-pays But, as noted above and by others here, what you are really paying for is the big-bully insurance company to knock the bill WAY down. Not uncommon to end up paying 10c on the dollar. It isn't right, it isn't fair, and the winner is always the insurance company.

    I'd 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) the comments to talk to the hospital billing department ASAP. By the way, you are going to have to make several calls to work your way up the administrative food chain - the initial clerks who take your calls are not decision makers.

    I had a fairly bad injury a few years back - some broken ribs, broken cheek, inter-cranial bleeding, etc - the bill for a night in the trauma unit (they were afraid major brain injury - my helmet actually cracked!) was something like $75k. By the way, I spent the night in a corner in on of the treatment rooms - once they realized I was stable, a portable cot, listening to the real traumas - for $75k, I didn't even get a private room Or any of my hamburger cleaned up Or anything to eat or drink AND they cut my flippin' breeches OFF! That is when I came too - screaming they better not cut the boots off Insurance company basically knocked that bill down to about $3k. And I agreed to give up cross country jumping

    Health care and insurance is just a bizarre industry. Make the phone calls now, set up a payment plan, and take your time to heal properly...
    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
    Director, WTF Registry



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,735

    Default what fairview said

    they can not turn you over to the collection agency if you pay each month. Call them as the bills come in and tell them your intentions. They will work with you, they have no choice really, they would rather get their $ eventually than not at all. Health insurance for young folks with no health issues is pretty cheap and well worth the peace of mind.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    Here's an example of an accident plan.

    $5K in coverage minus a $100 deductible for $29.95/month and $10 more for THE FAMILY

    $10K in coverage minus a $100 deductible for $39.95/month and $10 more for THE FAMILY

    This a no brainer for horse people. Allowable expenses include injury to sound natural teeth. Health insurance isn't going to touch that kind of accident.

    These plans work with or without insurance. If someone can't afford insurance or cannot get it because of underwriting issues, at least have the accident plan. You pay the bill and send copies of invoices to the company and they cut you a check.

    This plan would not help Kathy with kidney stones. >grin<>sorry<

    Anyone wanting info can email me directly at oakstable@aol.com.
    Last edited by Oakstable; Jul. 16, 2009 at 04:52 PM.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2002
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    4,596

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Most likely you will end up having to declare bancruptcy.
    That's a little bit excessive!
    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
    Home of Welsh Pony, ISR/Oldenburg & RPSI pony stallions Daventry's Power Play, Goldhills Brandysnap LOM & Alvesta Picasso
    Also home to www.EquineAppraisers.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2003
    Location
    Wynnewood, Oklahoma
    Posts
    5,195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oakstable View Post
    This plan would not help Kathy with kidney stones. >grin<>sorry<
    I kid you not, I told the ER doc to just shoot me!! Get it over and done with. Even explained where he could hide the body <grin>. Wouldn't wish that kind of pain on anyone...well...okay...my ex. Yeah. I'd wish it on him

    But truly, the insurance issue is a really, really, really big problem for small businesses. I see the bigger problem as what to do when you're laid out and can't work!!!
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    Disabilities are a huge problem.

    How does one pay their insurance premium if they lose their income?

    There are disability insurance plans -- premiums vary by how risky your work is.

    There are also critical illness plans. If you get an illness like cancer, the insurance pays you upfront. Money can be used for treatment or a vacation. The insurance company doesn't care.

    The industry has lots of options that probably 99% of people have never heard of.

    (BTW - I am absolutely for reforming the health care industry.)



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2005
    Location
    The \"wet\" coast of Canada
    Posts
    201

    Unhappy

    Wow...do you folks have it tough in the USA. Here in Canada...I live in BC …I pay $96.00 per month, for my hubby and I. That covers visits to a Medical Doctor and hospitalization when needed. Ambulance service is subsidized so it costs bit but doesn't break the bank. "Elective" surgery, has months of wait lists but does happen eventually...emergency rooms are busy but patients are triaged and seen as needed.
    Health Insurance is mandatory up here but there are subsidies iffin your income is really low and you cannot pay the premiums.
    Insurance for 'medical' on horses isn't such a bargain. LOL
    I feel for the OP...What a bad situation.
    Martha



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    The USA is extremely backward when it comes to medical care.

    I know someone who flew with his aunt to India!!!!!!!!!! for a surgery that she couldn't get her HMO to authorize here. And it wasn't cosmetic surgery.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2008
    Posts
    258

    Default

    I think the Equestrian Aid Foundation was set up to offer assistance. http://www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/


    Equestrian Aid Foundation's Mission is to build a membership based organization to assist anyone in the equestrian world suffering from life threatening illness, catastrophic accidents or injuries by providing direct financial support for their medical or other basic needs.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2002
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    4,596

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
    I kid you not, I told the ER doc to just shoot me!! Get it over and done with. Even explained where he could hide the body <grin>. Wouldn't wish that kind of pain on anyone...well...okay...my ex. Yeah. I'd wish it on him
    You guys all have to move to Canada! We are extremely lucky. I don't pay a cent (out of pocket) into our health care, although it does come out of our taxes. I had a kidney stone in February. Hobbled in there first thing in the morning. Had all kinds of tests done and then rushed to a bigger facility to get a cat scan done, got some meds and was sent home all better that afternoon. I never saw a bill or even knew what the final cost was as it is all covered by our government. We are extremely lucky up here!

    But like Kathy said, the bigger problem is being out of work. After my car accident four years ago, many tests, bone scans, MRI's, physiotherapy four days a week, etc. I didn't have to worry at all about the medical bills as it was all covered by our government health plan...but that didn't help me with being out of work
    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
    Home of Welsh Pony, ISR/Oldenburg & RPSI pony stallions Daventry's Power Play, Goldhills Brandysnap LOM & Alvesta Picasso
    Also home to www.EquineAppraisers.com



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    The AMA has come out in support of the house reform bill.

    Wow.



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