My Sibling Has Disabilities, My Parents Have Died – Now What?

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This is such a difficult scenario, yet it happens every day.

A child, perhaps mentally or physically disabled from birth, or one who might have suffered an accident earlier in life, grows into adulthood, having been cared for by very loving parents who did everything they could possibly do to care for their child.

As everyone grows older, eventually both parents die, leaving behind the child with disabilities, now an adult, who has outlived his or her parents. Maybe the parents have ...

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The Dangers of Having Great Health Insurance

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On occasion, in a conversation with new acquaintance, they’ll ask me what I do for a living. I tell them I established and run the most comprehensive directory of independent, private health and patient advocates and care managers online, supported by a marvelous professional organization whose members populate the directory.

“Independent and private?” they ask me. “I don’t need an advocate like that because I have great health insurance!”

“Oh but you’re wrong!” I ...

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Will the Waiter Spit In Your Soup?

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You’ve heard this fear before – that if you are too demanding of your waiter, or challenge him or her in any way, then he might spit in your soup as a form of revenge.

Unfortunately, too many of us think the same of our doctors. As if, if we are difficult patients, then the doctor might metaphorically spit in our treatment soup; in other words, not provide for us what we need.

Whether or not you realize it, you may be ...

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Independent Advocate?

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Did someone say HIRE?

Yes – hire. Independent health or patient advocates provide services you’ll usually pay for from your pocket, not covered by insurance.

You might ask – Hey! Why aren’t they covered by insurance – or free?  We’ve discussed that previously, explaining that you WANT to pay for the service yourself, or at least let someone who has your best interests at heart be the payer. A loved one, or an employer – they do have your best ...

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How to Juggle Long Distance Elder Parent Care

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Mom has been diagnosed with cancer, and Dad’s memory isn’t very good… You know you’re expected to be there to take care of them, but….

You live hundreds of miles away. You have a demanding job and your family to take care of.

You can’t be in two places at once.

You want to help! But you’re frustrated with the demands on your location and your time. And… you feel just a little bit guilty. How can you make choices that satisfy everyone ...

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Are Health or Patient Advocate Services Covered by Insurance?

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This is a question I get asked frequently:  If I hire a patient or health advocate, will my insurance cover the cost?

The answer might surprise you.  It’s yes – and it’s no – as follows, depending on who your advocate works for:

  • There are patient advocates who work for hospitals and insurance companies – not you. Yes, they might be helpful (and if they can help you – that’s great!) but remember, they are not objective, and
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Tax Time! Can You Deduct the Cost of Your Patient Advocate?

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I’ve spent most of the weekend working on my income tax filing. Yeah. You know. The fun never ends.

Then the lightbulb moment arrived when I realized that you, the reader of this blog, might be interested to know whether there is a tax benefit to hiring an advocate.

So we’ll begin with my disclaimer:  I am not an IRS (or CRA) agent or specialist. I am not a tax accountant or even a regular accountant or even a tax preparer. I ...

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Does Your Doctor Seem Tired?

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So we changed our clocks last night; lost an hour of sleep or an hour of our day. It’s Sunday, so at least most of us don’t have to go to work today, giving us a day to adjust. All day long we’ll look at the clock and think it seems weird. For many of us, the toughest part will be when the alarm goes off tomorrow morning, when we have to get up for work and feel like we…just…didn’t…get…enough…sleep…

For ...

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Making Smart Medical Decisions After Devastating News

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Jane M., a smart, savvy, well-liked, and well-respected business woman who supervises 100+ people at work, and who juggles her family’s needs as well as her own, day in, and day out – has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

She is devastated. Overwhelmed. Frightened. Frustrated. Life has just taken a left turn and for the first time in her life, she can’t seem to cope. Will she die?  She can’t focus at work. Will her insurance cover what she needs ...

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What’s the Difference Between Hospital Patient Advocates and Independent Advocates?

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Francine reports: 

After my husband Leonard had surgery last week, he stayed in the hospital four more days. I stayed by his side as much as I could and waited every day for the surgeon to check on him. I had a million questions! But I never saw the surgeon again once the surgery was over.

I waited patiently for the first day after the surgery. No surgeon. I called the surgeon’s office and they would not ...

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