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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I have recently become disabled and can not afford my Cobra

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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 4 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, ***** ***** 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 4 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 and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you