Ever read about those people who “win” millions of dollars in settlements for wrongful death suits? Just recently a woman in Florida was awarded nearly $1 million as compensation for medical expenses and suffering, both past and future, related to the death of her husband from asbestos mesothelioma.
While that might seem like a pretty good life insurance policy, Betty McBride, widow of Woodrow McBride, would probably rather have her husband back, if she were asked. Needless to say, that’s not going to happen.
Woodrow died from lethal asbestos exposure just 1 year after being diagnosed, at the grand old age of 67—that’s just 2 years after most people retire! Unfortunately, for Betty and Woodrow, spending their golden years together will never happen. Given that Woodrow worked all his life, most of it around asbestos, I’ll bet he was looking forward to retirement.
While the McBrides had their dreams cut short, they did have time before Woodrow’s death to get their affairs in order—and file a lawsuit. That takes sharp thinking and research. Here, some tips on what to do…
The first step in all of this is getting tested. If you worked around asbestos—even if it was decades ago—there’s a possibility you may be at risk for asbestos mesothelioma. The place to start is with your healthcare professional or family doctor. And better sooner, rather than later.
Knowing where to start your fact finding can be a pretty daunting task—but there are some very good resources on the Internet that provide information on the asbestos mesothelioma, its symptoms, the risk factors, and treatments including up-to-date information on clinical trials. The mother of all them is probably the National Cancer Institute’s web page. This page leads to a number of other pages on their site all relating to mesothelioma.
Other useful sites that can help you navigate the minefield of information around treatments, clinical trials, financial assistance, compensation, social security, and legal rights include Mesotheliomaweb.org and Asbestos.com. They both have toll-free numbers that you can use to request their free information packages. Both sites are very detailed.
Once you’ve done some basic research, you’ll want to seek the professional help of a lawyer. There’s an abundance of law firms specializing in asbestos claims. A quick Google search will bring up tons of them—but it’s best to find a law firm through a reliable source, and one that doesn’t charge you up front for an evaluation of your case. Lawyersandsettlements.com has a free evaluation form that will let you submit your case details to a qualified lawyer.
If youâ€™re interested in how to avoid paying for insurance overages for out of network bills, these tips—from Consumer Reports Health blog (Ginger Skinner, 5/9/09) may help. Remember though, these are preventative measures—if you feel youâ€™ve already been overcharged for out-of-network medical reimbursements, it may be time to seek out an evaluation with a lawyer.
Hereâ€™s a riddle: whatâ€™s something you never want to be without but you can never quite â€œgetâ€?
Answer: Health Insurance.
Particularly if you live in New York and youâ€™ve been trying to â€œgetâ€ your out of network Explanation of Benefits statements. The recent NY Attorney General’s Health Care Report determined the database used by many big-name insurers (think Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Health Link, Unicare, United Health Care, Wellpoint/Anthem) to compute out-of-network fees has been understating â€œusual and customaryâ€ rates. Translation: you may have paid more than you shouldâ€™ve when going out-of-network.
How so? Hereâ€™s an exampleâ€¦ Read the rest of this entry »
May 4, 2009
In great news to start off the week, Congressional Quarterly’s Kathleen Hunter is reporting that Senator Charles Grassley will likely hold onto his position on the US Senate Finance Committee until 2011.
“Grassley said last week that he preferred to remain as the top Republican on the Finance panel for the remainder of the 111th Congress but might reconsider if something was “going to happen in the interim” that would keep him from taking over the top Judiciary post in 2011,” she wrote.
“Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions will take over the top Republican spot on the Judiciary Committee for the remainder of the 111th Congress and then yield to Charles E. Grassley of Iowa in 2011, under a deal reached between the two, a senior GOP aide confirmed Monday,” Hunter reports.
This news has to be a big let down for Big Pharma and all the hangers-on whose financial dealings with drug and device companies have come under the microscope through Grassley’s relentless investigations.