TL:DR – New diagnosis requiring hospitalization and recurring psychiatric and therapy appts without being able to work, current debt due to medical bills ~5000 USD
I’ll give a brief summary of the history of what has happened in the last year.
- In August 2020 I had a mental health breakdown after my first manic episode of bipolar disorder. Prior to this episode I had never thought/been diagnosed with this condition.
- I took short-term leave from my job of a retail worker and received 60% of my salary, which amounted to about 600 USD per month. My rent was and remains 550 USD per month.
- I was able to use my savings to cover about four months of living expenses outside of that 600/month, as well as to pay for weekly therapy appts at 30/per session or 120/per month.
- In Dec I became suicidal and was recommended to higher levels of care by my therapist.
- I entered a PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) for 4 hours a day of group therapy at 2000 for three weeks of the program. This ended around the end of January. The program itself was much more money, but my insurance luckily covered most of it so the 2000 was out of pocket.
- I got some help from my remaining savings and some friends and hoped that would be it.
- However, I became suicidal again and was remanded for an inpatient program – a program where I stayed for ten straight days in a psych hospital for intensive crisis intervention.
- Those bills were very high, about 10,000 USD for the stay, and again my insurance paid for some of it, but the out of pocket was around 4000.
- I used my credit cards to pay for most of that. Now, in January my short term work leave had expired, so I entered a long term work leave program that again paid around 60% of my salary, but that again was about 600 USD a month. And rent continued.
- The long term insurance took three months to be assessed and granted so I had three months of nothing before getting a back payment of 4000 dollars, which covered some of my credit card debt.
- After the inpatient program I returned to PHP for another three weeks. Fortunately I had met my deductible and out of pocket maximum so that was free.
- I was hopeful that I would be okay and could return to work by the end of this year.
- However, my insurance still requires a copay of 35 for psychiatrist appointments and therapy appointments. The psych appts are twice a month for a total of 70/month and therapy is weekly at 35 so 140/per month with a total of 210 a month. Along with medication, which changes as my psych adjusts them, I spend about 250 a month on medical bills and 550 on rent, along with 70 for utilities which equals 870 USD per month for basic costs.
- The 870 does not cover food or other living expenses and my insurance only gives 600 a month so there has been a deficit of 270 each month since April.
- I am in debt on two credit cards equaling a total debt of 4783 USD. Each month I have to pay the payment and interest. Friends and family are helping but they can’t afford to do much either.
- On top of all of this, my work leave won’t last much longer, about 6 months I believe, which means my health insurance will end and I’ll need to pay in full for psychiatric care, therapy and medication.
Whatever you can do to help is much appreciated. Bipolar sadly has no cure but can be managed with good medication and good living habits. I am doing all I can for myself to manage this but I need help with debt and living costs. Again, thank you so much.