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Not sure which is the best forum for this question...but to receive therapy and medical help one must be able to pay for it. How do people with mental conditions deal with medical costs? Need advice. Daughter is adult and my insurance no longer covers her. I could continue with Cobra but that is still going to be very expensive with a big out of pocket...do I just let her fend for herself with the local mental health center, and emergency room when needed? It is a horrible choice to have to pay 4,000 per year for a premium and still have a 1.500 deductible.. but what is the alternative. We live in Colorado.


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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Rocket,

This is a good forum to ask your important question. You are presenting a problem that is confronting everyone across the nation, whether the issue is mental health or medical health. There is no easy answer. If she is a college student there may be an insurance coverage through the school. It wouldn't be much but at least something. If she works, the company may have some totally inadequate insurance but it would be better than nothing. There are not for profit mental health agencies and you would have to do a google search for your area to find them. If she is disbled by her problems she might qualify for medicare and that would cover psychotherapy and psychiatry. Of course, cobra is always terrible and the deductables are always miserable, even with regular insurance.

If you live near Boulder, there is boulder mental health clinic and they take very low paying people. I don't have the phone number but you could call information. I believe its called Boulder Mental Health.

Hope this helps.


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Thanks, Allan! We know about the Boulder County mental health center and they do have a sliding scale. That is a wonderful place -- I went there years ago for therapy and they have excellent people, some of whom have graduated from the Naropa University psych program which has such an excellent program and really emphasizes compassion and acceptance and being with the therapy client...

I did a search again yesterday for "preexisting condition health insurance Colorado" and found something called GettingUSCovered which I am amazed to find. The monthly premium for my daughter's age group is about $250, which is $150 less than the monthly Cobra payments would be. The deductible is $2,500 though, and there is no coverage for out of network. Copays are about $30 and coverage is about 80%. This would be worthwhile to have just in case hospitalization of any kind is ever necessary.

They allow a lapse -- and they allow pre-existing conditions. This is a program that is part of a phase I of a new national health care approach. I was surprised to find it, and I do think I will pay this premium for her. She was in the hospital a couple of months ago for three nights and the total was over $15,000, with the insurance paying about $12,000 of it. I should not be surprised about the cost....most of the others in the hospital at the same time did NOT have health insurance, and so of course those that do subsidize the cost of those who don't....I worry that those without the insurance may not get the same care as those that do, or may be kicked out sooner. And those that do may be kept longer than needed just so the hospital can draw some funding to keep themselves going!

Gosh......it's heartbreaking to realize what it takes to get care.

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Does your daughter qualify for medicaid? Just wondering. If ahe does qualify then those services she needs would be covered. They will even finish payments that have occured a few months back. That would cover the hospital stay. I believe she could have 2 insurance's. one a primary insurance and the other .

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Mscat: I do not know whether she qualifies for Medicaid. As an adult who does not have children of her own, I do not think she qualifies unless she is deemed disabled and I don't know if she is disabled enough and I don't want to encourage that!! Does having a bipolar diagnosis alone make you eligible for Medicaid?

It is all very confusing....she started applying for Medicaid or disability or SSI, i'm not sure which....maybe both, maybe all -- and then she seemed to get stuck somewhere in the application process -- overwhelmed -- not uncommon for her, and I can certainly understand how complicated the systems can be. I told her I'd help if she would get on her computer and call me but she has not done that.

The reason I have not taken charge and helped her apply or even applied for her is that I am so ambivalent about the whole thing. I don't WANT her to be disabled. I don't want her to have the stigma or for her to believe that she is not competent. And she is working full time. It is all very confusing....

I think what I must do is start over from the beginning....check into how to apply for Medicaid....and if that requires being disabled, then I need to check into what that entails. It would be good for her to be independent of me and make her own medical decisions. Or it would be good for me...I guess it would be good for both of us.

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Well I had no idea ... I just called my sister N law regaring my niece. I asked her how she was able to keep her medi cal insurance aftre age 18. Well in CA they can keep it until age 21. She just founf out that she is pregnant too. my niece is 19. But will be 20 when her baby is born.

I was only thinking about income status, nothing else. I understand that if the only way dor her to get medical insurance is if she were disbled, you do not want to look at her that way or encourage labels. LIke Allen suggested, perhaps her job offers coverage.

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Dear Mscat:

Your replies inspired me to do a quick search to find Medicaid info and make a call to the local public health office. They have an application for Aid for Needy and Disabled ("AND") which, if you qualify, is a program that includes Medicaid. They will interview her and give her a form to take to a doctor (her former psychiatrist will suffice...), I suppose to document that she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. That way she will have assistance for the medical visits and medication. I don't know if her income will make her ineligible, but she should go ahead and try.

I do support her going this route. After all, the medical costs are simply not affordable for someone at her income level, abled or disabled, and she needs medical attention.

All we can do is try.

Thanks for you feedback, you helped me move out of my murky confusion...


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I think what 'rocket' might have missed was the sub-title of your post: "Explore a vibrant well supported church group". I think "a couple" referred to a couple of such groups that you had found useful.

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Hey there rocket,

Was your daughter able to get on some medical insurance? Did she qualify for the low income help? Is she now getting mental health services? I hope so. Without any type of medical insurance I think it is impossible to get the help.

When I worked full time i did not have any coverage . I was hoping to god that nothing came up back then. I could always get my child services though. Hardly seems right. Npw that I am on SSDI I have 2 medical insurances, and live in low income housing. Things are a lot better now then they ever use to be, even though I am unable to work.

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Thanks for asking. No, we have made no progress in that area, and it is depressing and discouraging for both of us.

I printed the application for medicaid from our county health/social services office and told my daughter I'd go with her. I explained what they told me -- that they would give us a form for her doctor to fill out (stating that she has bipolar disorder and needs treatment (or is it suppposed to affirm that she is disabled and cannot work?) . She thanked me but seemed to be in no condition or mood to talk about it (last night).

Seems like we can never find a good time to talk about anything important and I am always relieved to avoid it.

I do think it is likely they will refuse her Medicaid because she currently has a job.

I also told her that if in the future she felt she could not handle the job, we could look into disability, and that this did not have to ever be permanent, but I just wanted to let her know that there may be options.

I hate to say "in case you can't work" to her...I don't want to suggest that, partly because I am afraid that the idea will appeal to her and she is very "suggestible" -- I want her to be able to work and to be willing to work.

In any case, no progress on the medical coverage...and it just adds to the feeling of everything being ambiguous and confusing. I can't even begin to imagine how overwhelming it must be to her. I can imagine thinking of the hospital as the last resort...a way to surrender and admit that I can't handle it.

I feel very discouraged today...so sad, crying very easily whenever I think about these difficulties. I am not sorry to be sad, to be able to feel my sadness...I know it is far different from the depression that makes it just about impossible to function.


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