When diagnosed with IPF, insurance, finances, and similar issues may be furthest from your mind. To make life easier for you and your loved ones, the website Lungs & You offers vital planning advice.
Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, the website Lungs & You explains that while people with IPF may be focused on their diagnosis, it is important to consider all the insurance, financial, legal, and general planning issues (spending final days, hospice, etc.) that will arise.*
- Insurance. Once diagnosed with a chronic illness, your providers will likely ask you about your insurance. It is important to determine coverage, whether that coverage will change as your condition progresses, and whether the care options you desire are covered. Explore Medicare and Medicaid if private insurance is not feasible.
- Private health insurance is the main source of insurance for those under age 65. Coverage varies, particularly for experimental treatments and hospice, though most plans cover nursing homes, assisted living, and home care to an extent.
- Medicare provides basic health benefits to those over age 65 and those with at least two years of Social Security disability benefits.
- Medicaid covers low-income adults, including those older or disabled. Qualifications vary by state and most states cover hospice.
- Financial and Legal. It is important to make sure financial and legal paperwork is secured and that you and your loved ones’ wishes are accurately recorded.
- Organize and safely store bank and investment information, deeds, adoption papers, etc.
- Draft a will, which should outline what you would like to do with your assets once you pass. It can also detail your plan of care for any dependents (family members, pets, etc.).
- Draft a living will, called an advance directive, which states what medical care you would like or not like at the close of this life, as well as other end-of-life wishes (hospice, burial, etc.).
- Designate a power of attorney, which will authorize someone you trust to make healthcare decisions in the event you become incapacitated.
To address these issues, you’ll need discussions with legal, insurance, and medical professionals. Most importantly, consult your providers and loved ones first to get an accurate idea of your health timeline and what support you can get.
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*Staff. Financial, Insurance, and Legal Information. Lungs & You.