How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Susan Ivy Your Own Question
Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
Type Your Health Question Here...
Susan Ivy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have recently become disabled and can not afford my Cobra

This answer was rated:

I have recently become disabled and can not afford my Cobra payments. I have tried the Social Security office, Medicade, State programs for pre-existing conditions, State Major Risk program and Cobra. All of these said I need to out of coverage for 6 months or 1 year.
I am going to be 64 in Jan and have pre-existing conditions. I can't be without insurance. Any suffusions?

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Although I can't get you insurance without you paying a copay (have you tried Kaiser Permanente by any chance... some insurance companies may be able to provide you at least some type of coverage at a rate that may be more affordable than your Cobra)

There are government clinics (Health Dept's) that will see you and base your payment on your finances (may be as little as five dollars to see a health care provider).

If you would like to provide me with your location, I will look for the health dept. clinics in your area.

If you are taking medications that are expensive such as ones that the patent has not yet expired and generics are not available, if you could provide me with the names I can check with the manufacturer for low cost programs. Most pharmaceutical companies do have these programs.

I also just found this article which might be of interest to you, on Web MD (it discusses options for people with pre existing conditions, and for example mentions something that I had not heard before: "Your state may have a designated insurer that gives anyone coverage, regardless of his or her medical condition or history. However, you need to apply within those 63 days of losing your previous coverage (including COBRA) to be eligible."
Click here for the article.

I will look for your reply with your location and you medications if you would like me to research the options I mentioned for you.

I am working elsewhere this afternoon, so I may have to work on your answer sporadically over several hours. If this is a problem let me know and I will give up the question. I will get you some details though at least in a few hours.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I tried all the orginizations I can think of. I haven't tried the health dept. I am in zip 95125. Some of the meds I take are:




Onglyza Lamotrine



hydro cl


As you can see, I take quite a few meds.

Ok, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your information.

Are you fine with taking generics? Some of your medications will be quite inexpensive if you take generics. With the other medications will look to see what I can find as far as programs through the pharmaceutical companies. I'll look for your closest health department as well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you and I am fine with generics.


Respond at your leisure.

Good news,

There are several Health Department clinics within your area, several that are under 3 miles from your zip code. You can see them here: (you may have to add your zip code again to bring up the locations) This is what these centers provide to those that are uninsured: “HRSA health centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers provide

  1. checkups when you're well

  2. treatment when you're sick

  3. complete care when you're pregnant

  4. immunizations and checkups for your children

  5. dental care and prescription drugs for your family

  6. mental health and substance abuse care if you need it”

One of the closest ones to you, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, will help you apply for financial assistance ( “If you do not have medical insurance, we can help you apply for a financial assistance program.”) You are eligible because you live in that county.

See this page for the actual application process:

So you do appear to have a strong health department network in your state and area.

Now, one thing you should realize, is that unlike a private doctor's office, the waiting room area's may not be 'impressive' (the furniture used, rather than brand new, etc). Also, you will be waiting for your appointment with people from all walks of life. But, you can be assured that the health care providers are top notch. They are often affiliated with the local medical/nursing schools and thus are up to date on new treatments. So the care can actually be as good or even better than you might find in a private clinic.

Because you have these health services available in your area, I don't think it will be necessary to look up all your medication manufacturer discount programs.

Please do reply though if you do want further information or have questions about any of this. I'll be standing by and will continue to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with your answer.

Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience: BSN, MSN, CNS
Susan Ivy and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Previous | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ

Meet The Experts:

  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
< Last | Next >
  • Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch


    Satisfied Customers:

    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
  • Dr. Gupta's Avatar

    Dr. Gupta

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.