Health Insurance and Mesothelioma
For victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, the costs of diagnosis and treatment are significant. These costs are quite often high enough to make it difficult, if not impossible, to afford without the assistance of health insurance. But, individuals should be aware of limitations that insurance has when it comes to these serious diseases.
Covering the Cost
Asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma and other cancers, can result in significant cost to victims. Typical surgeries associated with cancer treatment cost around $40,000 (and that does not include the most aggressive or complicated surgeries). An eight-week chemotherapy cycle costs around $30,000. Monthly radiation costs around $2,000.
While most insurance plans provide coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, it is dependent on each particular plan. Even when these things are covered, it is typically only after high deductibles are met and will have high copayments.
In addition to private insurance, the U.S. government provides certain individuals with coverage. Medicare provides insurance for individuals 65 years of age and older who have a sufficient work history. There are four different types of Medicare:
- Part A: provided to all individuals covered by Medicare, it covers in-patient hospital care, as well as in-patient care in nursing, hospice, or home facilities;
- Part B: for an additional premium, it covers visits to doctor’s offices, laboratory costs, medical equipment, and ambulance services;
- Part C: for an additional premium, it is a combination of Part A and B, and is provided by private insurance companies as supplemental insurance;
- Part D: providing assistance for prescription medication costs.
Medicaid, the other large government program, provides assistance to low-income individuals. Under certain circumstances, mesothelioma treatment is covered under this program.
An issue that individuals may encounter in relation to their insurance coverage is the network of healthcare providers. For example, mesothelioma is a rare disease, making finding experts within an insurance policy’s network difficult. Unfortunately, this may make going outside of the network in order to find the best care through the use of a specialist necessary, which will increase the cost of treatment.
Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which went into effect in 2014, provided important changes that impacted mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease, including:
- Easier obtainment of insurance for low-income families;
- Minimum insurance standards for items like cancer screenings, treatment and follow-up care;
- Prevention of companies from dropping individuals with life-threatening diseases (like mesothelioma);
- Providing for patients with pre-existing conditions (like cancer) to obtain coverage; and
- Eliminating annual and lifetime maximums that insurance plans will pay for cancer patients.
Compassionate Legal Help
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are often devastating. For more information on obtaining assistance in seeking the needed benefits to help you combat these insidious diseases, contact the experienced attorneys at the Throneberry Law Group today. We understand the difficulty of fighting asbestos-related diseases and diligently fight for the victims we represent.