Develop a Financial Plan
Dealing with a chronic illness is unpredictable; there is no way to know how you will feel or what you will be able to do days, months, or years from now. For your own security you need to plan ahead. Assume that Parkinson’s will lead to increasing disability. There are professional financial managers and lawyers that provide financial planning for people with chronic illnesses.
Some things to take into consideration when planning may include:
- Medical Expenses: Doctor visits, medication, surgery and other costs associated with Parkinson’s treatments and therapies can have significant financial implications.
- Adaptive Living Products: While not always necessary, adaptive living products can be helpful in making life with Parkinson’s simpler.
- Medical Equipment: Wheelchairs, transfer chairs, U-Walkers and other equipment may be necessary in the future. Try before you buy! Check out our equipment loan program.
- Long-Term Care Costs: When creating your financial plan, it’s important to consider the costs of in-home care, supportive housing, assisted living, or other long-term care program.
- Legal Fees: Legal assistance may by necessary when considering planning advanced directives, such as a living will, medical durable power of attorney or power of attorney documents.
The above list may not cover financial considerations for every situation, so we encourage you to consult with a family member, friend, caregiver, or support group to ensure your financial plan is comprehensive.
Ease the Financial Burden
Insurance and Financial Assistance Options
There are many options available specifically to ease the burden of medical costs associated with Parkinson’s.
If you are insured, either through your employer or a retirement policy, read all of the policies, including disability policies, pertaining to chronic illness. If you do not understand your benefits, contact the personnel department or your financial planner. Be sure to find out if your insurance covers referral to a specialist in Parkinson’s disease.
If you are unemployed and you do not have coverage, you may be able to to purchase a private insurance policy. You should look for the highest level of coverage that you can afford.
Social Security Disability
If you are disabled but too young to qualify for Social Security, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability.
If you cannot get insurance and your income is low, you may qualify for Medicaid, a government “safety net” program that pays for medical costs that exceed a person’s ability to pay.