Private long term care insurance won’t cover my Lupus but WA Cares will
By Washingtonians for a Responsible Future • May 30, 2022 06:00
Washington workers like Anthony Jones of Renton now have access to WA Cares, which will pay for services such as home care assistance, medical equipment or even home modifications like a ramp.
By Anthony Jones, Renton
I was a normal 19 year old going to college, playing basketball with friends, enjoying life as a healthy young man. But suddenly I started experiencing extreme fatigue, inflammation and pain in my joints. I was diagnosed with lupus, a disease so severe that I had to be treated with cytotoxin chemotherapy.
Plus, there was the worry: How would I cook for myself or even walk to the bathroom when my ankles and other joints made it too painful to move? The thought of losing my savings to qualify for Medicaid was devastating.
Fortunately, I am still working and living completely independently. But my condition is unpredictable. Some days I feel 100 percent. Other days, the joint inflammation in my foot is so bad that I can’t even walk my dog or go to work. Some days the pain in my hands is so bad I can’t hold a pot or cook for myself. I have been experiencing these breakouts for the past 20 years, and I know it will get worse as time goes on.
I have looked into options for getting long-term care insurance to cover costs when I need a caregiver to help me at home. Even if you could afford the expensive premiums, private long-term care insurance denies policies to people with pre-existing conditions. I’ve learned that 1 in 5 people have a pre-existing condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or lupus, just like me.
I’ve always had a job, but I had no idea how I could pay for help. Health insurance only covers immediate medical care from a doctor, not occasional or ongoing home care, such as help with meals, dressing, getting around. And I don’t want to spend all my savings to qualify for Medicaid care.
It is good that all workers in Washington have now WA Faces. WA Cares will pay for home care assistance, medical equipment or even home modifications like a ramp. WA Cares pays up to $36,500, and this amount increases with inflation.
We all pay a bit now while we are working and will be able to draw on our WA Cares funds when we need help.
Knowing that I will be able to stay in my home, even when my condition gets really bad, gives me a lot of relief. Help is on the way for those of us with pre-existing conditions thanks to WA Cares. More information at: waongtermcareoptions.info
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