View Full Version : Have spina bifida, have question about financial help
I'm not sure if I am even posting in the correct forum so please advise me if I am not. I have spina bifida, use wheelchair, self-catheterize, and take medication daily for my kidneys. I am a UK citizen but will be moving to the states in a few months. Since I am not a US citizen, are there any programs that can give me financial help for my catheters and medication? I am not looking to sponge off the government as I will be working but my insurance does not start until after 6 months. Also, in the UK we have a programme called Motability that helps disabled people financially to buy a car. Does USA have something like this?
08-02-2007, 11:41 AM
Are you immigrating or just visiting the USA temporarily? I assume you are coming on a workers visa and will have a green card? You would not be eligible for either Medicare or Medicaid, and this would probably be condition of getting your visa. Did you check this?
Since you will be employed, it would be expected that you private pay for these items until your insurance goes into effect. 6 months is a long time to wait...is that just for pre-existing condition costs or all your health needs? I would recommend stocking up as much as possible now with supplies and meds from the UK to bring with you.
In most states, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DOR or DVR) will help with vehicle modification, but only if you have an open case with them, and since you already have a job you may find it more difficult to justify as they would need to see that you needed a vehicle to get a job or go to school, and in many states they will not do this if there are other options (such as paratransit or public transportation that you can take to work). Also, as a foreign national, I am not sure if you would be eligible for DOR/DVR services.
Many of the support programs here are run by the individual State Governments so I suggest that you let people know where you will be working.
Also, unlike the UK, there is no National Health Service here and health care including meds is incredibly expensive. I suggest that you find out whether you can pay your employer back for the first six months of insurance so that you are covered. Most Group Plans cover pre-existing conditions if you are currently covered for them. This might, in turn, cover the cost of catheters and meds.
[quote=SCI-Nurse]Are you immigrating or just visiting the USA temporarily? I assume you are coming on a workers visa and will have a green card? You would not be eligible for either Medicare or Medicaid, and this would probably be condition of getting your visa. Did you check this?
What do you mean exactly by condition of getting my visa? I will be getting a spouse visa as my wife is a US citizen.
08-02-2007, 04:49 PM
I don't have any answers as far as your direct questions...HOWEVER, a lot of times you can find the catheters that you need on E-Bay a lot cheaper than you can purchase them retail...You may want to try to purchase some this way for the first few months until your insurance goes into effect.
Wal-Mart and Target offer certain generic medications for $4/month...you can go to www.walmart.com and www.target.com and click on their pharmacy links to check what meds they offer. This will let you know if any of your meds are on their lists.
I know it's not a lot of help, but these are a couple of ways that you'll be able to save a little bit of money once you are here in the states, until your insurance kicks in
08-02-2007, 07:10 PM
If you come on other than a spouse visa, you must sign a statement that you will not apply for any form of welfare (including Medicaid) for a period of time after coming to the USA...I believe it is 5 years.
Your spouse will have had to sign a statement of financial responsibility for you before getting a spousal visa too, so it would have been addressed there. Regardless, if you are working, you won't be poor enough for Medicaid, and your spouse's income is counted into this as well.