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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.

Colorectal Cancer: Newly Diagnosed: Government Benefits (Stages 0 - 1)


The main government benefits to be aware of because of your diagnosis are the programs that pay for health care.

  • Medicare provides health insurance for seniors and workers who are disabled for a sufficient period of time, and their families. Medicare provides limited amounts of home care and nursing home care. Premiums have to be paid for some parts of Medicare coverage. There are also deductibles and other amounts to pay.

  • Medicaid (Medi-cal in California) provides health care for people with low income and meager assets. Medicaid also covers nursing home care and long term care. If you do not qualify for Medicaid, steps can be taken so you can qualify.

  • Veterans get health care through the VA.

  • Some health care is provided through hospitals on a free or low cost basis because of a federal law referred to as Hill-Burton, or locally through local assistance. Emergency rooms in hospitals that receive federal funding cannot turn anyone away in the event of an emergency. This includes illegal immigrants.

There are also government programs which provide an income in the event that a health condition becomes disabling and makes you unable to work such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While there is no immediate reason to learn details about those programs now, it is helpful to take the following steps:

  1. Start keeping a work journal. In your journal:

    1. Keep track of who at work you tell about your health situation and their reaction.

    2. Include notes about everything good that is said about you and your work and letters and other documents that indicate how well you are doing.

    3. Note anything that could possibly indicate discrimination because of your health condition.

    4. Keep the journal at home (not on a computer that your boss has access to).

  2. Look at the criteria for qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance. A change in work status may help you qualify in the future if needed. Your diagnosis makes you more vulnerable than a person with no health history.

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