Palos Health offers a variety of payment alternatives such as discounts, interest free payment plans, assistance with enrollment for State and Federal Programs along with our own Financial Assistance Program. Palos offers on-site financial counselors to discuss your financial situation. You may download the Financial Assistance Application and mail in the completed application.
If you are Medicare and have questions about your coverage, our Senior Resource representatives are available to help you. Appointments are required. Call 708-923-4785 to schedule your appointment. This is a free service.
Health & Disability Insurance
Be sure to review your insurance plan’s rules. For example, many insurance plans require that you contact them to get specific medical services pre-approved. This means that your health care provider’s office should contact the insurer before sending you for tests or other treatment.
Make a list of all your current health care needs. Include services and treatments that you may need in the future. Compare your health plan benefits to expected medical needs. This will help you decide whether you already have the coverage that you need.
What to Consider when Choosing a Health Insurance Plan
Expenses for hospitals and other cancer care
Costs for lab and testing services
Fees for treatments such as physical therapy or acupuncture
Costs to you for both brand-name and generic prescriptions
Different Insurance Options
An individual health insurance policy that you buy for yourself.
Federal or state benefit programs that are based on your income and disability.
Services through county, community and hospital programs.
Insurance coverage under the health plan of a loved one.
A new job that offers group health coverage.
The insurance options finder tool at finderhealthcare.gov
About the Affordable Care Act of 2010
Affordable Care Act of 2010 puts health insurance reform into effect over a period of years. The following changes in insurance coverage may help people affected by cancer:
Private insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children (under age 19) with pre-existing conditions such as cancer.
Health plans cannot drop a person from coverage when they become sick.
No lifetime dollar limits on coverage through individual and group health insurance plans.
Young adults can be covered under a parent’s insurance policy until they reach age 26.
Seniors with Medicare benefits to receive discounts on brand drugs by 2013. The coverage gap will be closed completely by 2020.
High-risk insurance pools set up in every state to provide coverage for the uninsured.
Medicare and new private health plans will cover preventive services (like breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening) with no co-pays and deductibles.
For more information and updates about the Affordable Care Act, visit healthcare.gov
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) is a federal law that provides the right to continue health benefits for a certain amount of time after leaving a job. The former employee must sign up within a certain time frame and pay the full premium amounts. It also applies to loved ones who were covered by the employee’s health insurance plan.
If you know that you will be leaving your job:
Talk with your employer’s benefits department. Find out how and when leaving your job will affect your health benefits.
Learn about the COBRA coverage that will be offered when you leave your employer. Ask how much it will cost.
Find out about the dates for signing up and for making payments. Pay the full amount on time every month.
Ask when COBRA payments will start and how long the health benefits will last.
If needed, ask if you can get insurance benefits beyond the initial COBRA coverage period. Some plans allow this in certain cases.
Find out if your state offers insurance programs or other ways to keep your health insurance after COBRA.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law. It protects those covered by group health insurance plans. It limits the length of time a group plan insurer can refuse to cover pre-existing health conditions. It also protects personal privacy.
Under HIPAA, you may be able to keep health coverage if you go from one group plan to another. For example, if you change employers, the new group plan must cover a pre-existing medical condition without an exclusion period if:
You have had health insurance with no gaps in coverage for longer than 63 days and
You have had health insurance for at least the previous 12 months
HIPAA does not protect the coverage provided by individual health plans. If you try to change to a different individual plan, the new insurer can legally turn you down.
Some states have health insurance protection laws that are similar to federal laws. Check to see if your state has laws that can help you get or keep health coverage. Learn more about HIPAA protections from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Disability Income Insurance
Group and individual disability income plans provide benefits if you are unable to work. There are two types of disability policies:
Short-term policies pay a weekly income benefit for a short period, such as up to two years.
Long-term policies pay income benefits for the time specified by the policy. This could be as long as the rest of a person’s life. It might be up to the age when a person can retire (65 or 67).
Some employers offer short-term disability insurance. The income benefits start soon after you cannot work. They may continue until long-term benefits start. Even if you become unable to work, pay the full insurance premium on time. Keep paying until you get a written notice to stop. If you do not pay, the insurer will cancel your policy
Health Care Assistance for Underinsured
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the state agency focused on improving the lives of Illinois families through healthcare coverage and child support services. Learn more.
Common Health Care Assistance Programs Available
Medicaid is a federally-funded program administered by the Medicaid offices in each state. To receive Medicaid, you must be a citizen or a lawful U.S. resident. You must be over 65 years of age, meet income guidelines or have certain disabilities. Children and pregnant women may also be eligible.
Apply for Medicaid if your income is low and you meet the requirements of an eligibility group. Despite income level or assets, someone who has had excessive medical expenses and is considered medically needy may be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
Contact: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Medicare is the federal health insurance program that includes coverage options for prescription medication, doctor services and hospital visits. Medicare services are for people with certain disabilities and for citizens or lawful U.S. residents who are 65 or older. Generally, you or your spouse must have worked for at least ten years in Medicare-covered employment to qualify for benefits.
The Medicare program has three parts:
1. Hospital Insurance to help pay for certain types of hospital care, short-term skilled nursing care and some home health care.
2. Medical Insurance to help pay for some preventive services and for medically necessary doctor services, outpatient care and other medical services.
3. Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage to help pay for drug costs and protect against higher costs in the future.
Contact: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
If you have limited income and resources to pay for medical care, contact your local Social Security office or the national Social Security Administration for more information.
Contact: U.S. Social Security Administration
Clinical trials are studies to test treatments that are in development. One of the advantages of a clinical trial is that patients often do not have to pay anything to participate. Talk with your health care provider about whether participation in a clinical trial would be a good way to obtain treatment.
Assistance for Veterans
Most military veterans are eligible for medical care and prescription coverage through a local VA facility. Those who have service-connected medical conditions may be able to receive priority access to care. In addition, the TRICARE managed care program may provide health care services for eligible dependents.
Contact: Department of Veterans Affairs or call 800-437-9824 for more information.