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Heathen Offline
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Financial/medical issues with my mother - October 20th 2017, 07:05 PM

About three months ago my mother informed me that she and my father could no longer pay out of pocket for healthcare providers. I am on my partner's insurance, as well as Medicaid, and she said I need to find providers on my insurance so that I could start to cover the copays for visits. She told me I could continue seeing them for a few months as I tapered off visits and they'd cover the costs during that process but after that I needed to be financially responsible. This is understandable and I am okay with it. However, it's been incredibly hard to find new healthcare providers. I understood it would be a lot of calling around but I didn't anticipate it being this difficult.

What's making it more difficult is the fact that a few weeks ago, after about a month without a therapist, I started having active mental health issues regarding my Bipolar Disorder. I've been rapid cycling and it's been quite exhausting since there seems to be no pattern to when I'm manic and when I'm depressed. This has required me to need to see my psychiatrist more often. Each session costs $140 and previously I'd pay for it and my mom would pay me back.

In the last two weeks I went to the psychiatric hospital for safety concerns. I saw my psychiatrist once right before going in (October 5th) and I had an appointment with her on Tuesday (October 17th) after I discharged. I informed my mother about the appointment on the 5th when it happened and I informed her about the one on Tuesday when it happened. I checked my bank account on Wednesday and realized I hadn't been paid back for my appointment on the 5th so I texted my mom about it. This is a problem because I live on SSI. I live on a tight budget and if I'm waiting on my mom to pay me back the rest of the money I have gets drained really fast. I currently have about $12 left in my bank account right now, and I don't get paid again until the 1st of November. When I texted my my mom she replied that we'd "talk about it" today. This didn't sound promising.

I feel frustrated and angry. I get that my mom wants me to find new healthcare providers. I'm working on it. But now is NOT the time to change psychiatrists when my mental health state is so precarious. Even after my hospital stay and medication adjustments there I'm still not very stable. I'm having to work on my medications to find the right combination and I do NOT think I should change psychiatrists in the middle of this process. My mom doesn't seem to realize that and it almost makes me think she doesn't believe I'm having real trouble. In addition, her not paying me back means I don't have money to do other things. I can't survive if I'm shelling out $140 each week or two for my psychiatrist and she's not paying me back, and I'm already suffering for not having a therapist (although I am in a DBT IOP and that's helping).

How can I make my mother understand where I am coming from and ensure that she pays me back for the cost of appointments?

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Re: Financial/medical issues with my mother - October 20th 2017, 07:21 PM

This is difficult because they definitely shouldn't have thrown this on you while you've been struggling so much. I definitely understand where they are coming from and I know my dad would have never been able to help me with out of network doctors but he has helped me with appointments here and there.

I am not sure how you convey this to your mother because it seems like she said you would be able to continue with the doctors until you found new ones. I am uncertain why she is, apparently, making the decision to not cover the costs even though she said they'd cover the costs during the process.

I think that all you can do is talk to her and explain that you were under the impression that she would pay for the appointments until you found a new practitioner and explain that shelling out $280 for two appointments is not something that you can afford.

I will say that I don't think it's fair for them to do this. They should continue covering it until they know that you have found doctors since they agreed to cover the out of network costs in your past. They should have given you more notice and they should be understanding to the fact that you aren't going to find professionals in a matter of a few weeks/months.

I am unsure how you are currently utilizing the insurance. Are you using your medicaid as a secondary and your partner's insurance as primary or vice versa? If you are using medicaid as primary that might be the reason you are having difficulty finding practitioner...since a lot of doctors who take medicaid tend to be booked.

Would it be at all possible for your partner to help you with the costs of the out of network psychiatrist? I know that likely isn't a possibility but seeking out a new psychiatrist, especially when you've built a rapport and found a decent one, is definitely going to be difficult. It's not impossible but it's definitely not something that is likely to happen quickly and I think that is something you are going to have to discuss with your parents because if they do not want to continue covering the costs you, maybe your partner and them need to come up with a game plan on how to deal with you being able to get treatment while you are looking for a treatment team.

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