…Because He Couldn’t Afford Her Medicine, Sheriff Says
Normally, I might say that this is from The National Enquirer (which DID uncover the John Roberts’ affair, so let’s not forget that). Anyways, this was in The New York Times.Screenshot (81)
I wasn’t there, I don’t know them. And this is a tragic story, no question. Let’s presume for the sake of the husband, that he was not psychologically ill. Even if that was the case, the duress that high medical bills, coupled with the distress of being a caregiver, is high, to put it mildly. The #1 cause of household bankruptcy is not credit card debt, nor is it mortgage foreclosure, it’s healthcare cost.

Let’s take a look at the article specifically. What can we learn?

a. Someone is sick? The partner can become sicker than the original patient. The caregiver’s illness can be physical, and now you see it, emotional. There’s the stress, and, of course, the money.
b. Couldn’t afford the medicine? Sounds like a MEDICARE problem, and it isn’t certain that the couple was properly configured. Why would I conclude this?

  • People don’t usually simply wake up and instantaneously catch Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a serious condition (a life insurance company will refuse your application if the policy requires underwriting, for example), and there is serious, expensive medication for it. That medication is very frequently administered via infusion. In that case, it is very usually covered by Part B. So if this is the cause of financial distress, then that means that either she wasn’t covered by Part B, or her Medicare Advantage plan (if she had one) resulted in high copays/deductibles. Even in this instance, the cost-sharing would’ve been limited to an annual out-of-pocket maximum under a Medicare Advantage plan. Every Medicare Advantage plan has an annual out-of-pocket maximum. No exceptions.
  • With the correct Medigap configuration, the cost to the patient (above the premium) is ZERO. if Medigap was the configuration, and there was still a problem, then it could’ve been administrative error. The bottom line? Avoidable with the right information. It is a central point of Maximize Your Medicare; if you have a known, serious medical condition, DON’T PLAY AROUND. DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. When you pay a premium, you are paying for a) the known benefit because you know that you will need medical attention, and b) the value of protecting an unknown future, just in case you don’t have a #^*#!@$ crystal ball. People undervalue point b all the time. If you have a crystal ball, contact me immediately, I will make your financial problems disappear within one business day for generations to come. 100%.

c. Pain killers (e.g., Percoset) are a large problem. Many Medicare Advantage plans don’t cover painkillers, and many Part D plans don’t either. So, it is important to focus on the cause. While it is admittedly impossible to know, if point b was properly configured, then wouldn’t the pain be more manageable, and in which case the financial ripple-effects, and subsequent distress suffered by both been avoided? This is pure speculation, but now…we’ll never know.

It is “funny,” because a review of the book called my book “preachy.” Uh, I guess. That’s because it is written to give a full set of information, TO TRY TO AVOID THIS.

I guess we have a new sample of “This Happens” for the 2017 edition of Maximize Your Medicare.