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Mesothelioma Aid : Financial Plan For Mesothelioma Patients - III

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Compensation from Asbestos Industry

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer which is associated with exposure to asbestos. Those who are diagnosed most often worked in construction trades, or at industrial sites such as shipyards, power plants, refineries, paper mills, manufacturing plants, and foundries. Many Navy retirees who served their country proudly aboard ships in World War II and Korea were exposed to asbestos as machinist mates, firemen, and boiler tenders. Wives were exposed when they did the laundry of husbands who brought asbestos fibers into the home on work clothing. Because of the long latency period involved in asbestos cancer (mesothelioma), those exposed to products in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and early 70s, are just now being diagnosed.

People are often surprised to find out that compensation may be available to mesothelioma victims from the asbestos industry. This compensation can provide financial security and allow for peace of mind while families try to come to terms with the results of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

It has been proven in part through internal company documents, in part through the testimony of company employees, and in part through medical literature compiled by these companies, that product manufacturers were aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1920s. For over 50 years, until the government stepped in the1970s, manufacturers actively conspired to keep their knowledge of the hazards of asbestos secret. Now, many of these manufacturers are willingly negotiating settlements.

Filing for Compensation Early

Taking care of your medical needs is always the most important matter to consider when you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, but sometimes financial pressures can make treatment decisions more difficult. Compensation from the asbestos manufacturers is one way to help ease financial concerns over the cost of treatment as well as seeing that your family’s future is made more secure. It is generally a good idea to look at compensation in the same way that you approach your medical decisions – as an option you have to maintain control over your life.

Filing your claim early on is important for several reasons:
  • Freedom of Choice for Treatment - Mesothelioma is still considered a relatively rare cancer, and therefore, it is sometimes important to seek a second opinion or surgical option from a mesothelioma specialist. Unfortunately, these doctors may be located some distance from where you live, and there may be costs for transportation and lodging as well as for medical services. You may also wish to participate in a clinical trial which are normally offered only at a limited number of cancer facilities. In short, not every medical option may be available locally, and having the financial freedom to consider every option soon after diagnosis is important.
  • Statute of Limitations - Every state has a Statute of Limitations, or a time period in which you may file a claim. Once the Statute of Limitations has expired, you forfeit the right to compensation. The rules governing when statues go into effect may vary from state to state.
  • Information Necessary for the Claims Process - There is information relative to your work history and asbestos exposure that you can supply better than anyone else. If you become too ill or pass away before filing a claim, it will be that much more difficult to establish how, when, where and to what products you may have been exposed.
For more information on state statutes of limitations or information related to the claims process, contact a mesothelioma attorney.


Mesothelioma Aid : Financial Plan For Mesothelioma Patients - II

Type of Insurance and Care Provider for Mesothelioma Patients:

Conventional insurance
allows a patient to choose any doctor, and go to virtually any hospital anywhere in the country. You have the assurance that your doctor's medical recommendations are made entirely in your best interest. Managed Care plans are corporations serving large groups of people through a method of financing and delivering health care for a set fee using a network of physicians and other health care providers. The network coordinates and refers patients to its health providers and hospitals, and monitors the amount and patterns of care delivered. Managed care plans usually limit which services patients may receive by using "gatekeepers", or primary care physicians, to make sure services considered unnecessary, or referrals outside the network are kept to a minimum.

An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is the most common form of "managed care". It is a group that contracts with medical facilities, physicians, employers and sometimes individual patients to provide medical care to a group of individuals. This care is usually paid for by an employer at a fixed price per patient. Patients generally do not have any significant "out-of-pocket" expenses. An HMO may, however, control the amount of health care the doctor is allowed to provide. Many HMOs require that you choose a primary care doctor from their list. Unless this practitioner decides your medical problem is outside his expertise, you may not receive approval to see a specialist. Likewise, many HMOs limit patients to selected hospitals.

A PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) is a managed care organization that contracts with a network of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who deliver services for set fees, usually at a discount to the managed care organization. In a PPO, consumers must choose primary health providers from an approved list and must pay extra for specialty services received outside the PPO group.

A POS (Point of Service Plan) is a health plan whose members can choose their services when they need them, either in the HMO or from a provider outside the HMO, at some cost to the member, or a plan in which the primary provider directs services and referrals.

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older, some people with disabilities under age 65 and people with end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or transplant. Medicare has two parts, Part A and Part B.

Part A covers hospital insurance; most people do not have to pay for Part A. This helps pay for care in hospitals as an inpatient, critical access hospitals (small facilities in rural areas with limited inpatient and outpatient services), skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Part B covers medical insurance; most people pay monthly for Part B. This helps pay for doctors, services, outpatient hospital care and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as physical and occupational therapy and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these services when they are medically necessary.

Medicaid is a jointly funded federal/state health insurance program for certain low-income and needy people. It covers approximately 36 million individuals including children, the elderly, the blind and/or disabled and people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

to be continued....


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