This week legal pundits have been engaged in watching the U.S Supreme Court, as attorneys representing various states have battled with the Obama Administration over Obamacare, the universal healthcare bill touted to provide insurance coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The law also would make it illegal for insurance companies to decline to provide health insurance to individuals who were already ill with pre-existing conditions. The full effect of the bill is not slated to go into effect until 2014.
In 2010, it was estimated that 49.9 million American’s were uninsured. If the mesothelioma rate (2500py/312mil) for the general population is strictly applied to the uninsured, it can be estimated that approximately 16% of mesothelioma patients are without medical insurance, and are attempting to pay expensive medical bills with money from their own pocket.
Many mesothelioma patients, who were exposed to asbestos in the military, have access to healthcare through the Veterans Administration Hospital. However, for those uninsured mesothelioma patients who did not serve in the military the burden of paying for medical care is a terrible challenge. Most experts classify malignant pleural mesothelioma as terminal with an average survival rate of nine months, for which there is no cure. However, treatments do exist to extend mesothelioma patients lives and decease suffering, without “curing” the disease. However without insurance, some patients find such treatments to be cost prohibitive. In 2014, under Obamacare, it is believed that uninsured mesothelioma patients would have access to health insurance.
One option uninsured mesothelioma patients may choose to pursue is to participate in clinical trials. As mesothelioma is classified as a rare disease, often times hospitals and physicians conducting mesothelioma clinical trials have difficulty finding mesothelioma patients to participate in clinical trials. As a result, the clinical trial will actually pay for the cost of travel for the mesothelioma patient to the treating facility, as well as the costs for the medical care. Uninsured mesothelioma patients should discuss this treatment option with their medical provider. All clinical trials carry risks. Many mesothelioma clinical trials have been recruiting patients for year, and as a result have data that mesothelioma patients can review and consider prior to participating.
Another option that uninsured mesothelioma patients have to pay their medical bills is to use compensation provided to them through the tort system. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is considered by the vast majority of scientific experts to be a “signature” disease. In layman’s terms, that means if you have it, it is assumed you were exposed to asbestos. Compensation is available to individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma both through the court system, and also in a bankruptcy trust claim system. In many states there are lawyers who work with mesothelioma patients to help them gain compensation to pay for their medical bills. Not every mesothelioma patient needs to file a lawsuit to gain compensation. Even if a mesothelioma patient is litigation adverse, it is still advantageous for the uninsured patient to consult an attorney.
Even if Obamacare is struck down by the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, there will be options for…
uninsured mesothelioma patients to pursue to pay for their medical care. If you are a loved one has any questions about this article, feel free to contact the Asbestos Legal Center for a free consultation, at 1-800-970-3878.