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Survivorship A to Z - : Summary
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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

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EACH OF THESE SUBJECTS ARE DISCUSSED IN DETAIL IN OTHER SECTIONS OF THIS DOCUMENT

Even with the best health insurance, life after a diagnosis can be costly. Expenses rise. Income may decrease. The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the best techniques for paying for medical care and keeping your lifestyle.

To start to deal with finances, get a fix on where you are today and what expenses you are likely to encounter. Then see what would happen if your condition caused you to become disabled and unable to work. While you are working on the numbers, take some time to also see how your diagnosis will impact your life goals. If there is a shortfall, now is the time to take action. These calculations don't have to take a lot of time. Ballpark numbers will give you an overview. You can get more specifc later if you need to.

If you are experiencing a financial crunch or face one in the future, there are steps to take. 

  • Start with a budget which will show where your money goes and help you change course.
  • If necessary, learn how to prioritize your debts, and deal with creditors. If needed, no-cost-to-you nonprofits are available to help deal with creditors.
  • Bankruptcy is always an option. Bankruptcy is such a part of American life that it is included in the constitution.

Credit takes on new meaning because of your diagnosis. Do what you can to keep what you have, improve your credit score if possible, and get more credit. If you don't have credit, your diagnosis or a poor credit history does not prevent you from getting it.

Life has a way of throwing financial roadblocks, detours and potholes in our path. Building an emergency fund is tough when money is tight, but every dollar in reserve helps. When extra money is available, start building what we refer to as an Emergency+Fund.

NOTE:

  • If you are uninsured, read the document in "To Learn More" about paying for medical care.
  • Any discussion about money can bring up can bring up unwelcome feelings. Do not let them keep you from doing the necessary work. For information about dealing with emotions, see the documents in "To Learn More."
  • If you are taken advantage of financially, you may be able to get your money back (plus damages) if you are considered to be a "vulnerable" person because because of your health condition or because you are age 60 or over. For more information, click here

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