I checked all the options at city hall and didn't have very encouraging results. Our income from 2005 was a tad over the limit that would permit me to take a break from the National Pension plan payments so I can't re-route that money. Also, I'm still too well to get any disability payments from the plan, but this is good news, survival-wise. The clerk who sat down with me (after donning a white surgical mask) to explore all the options that might become available, depending on how the National Tax Agency likes our returns this year, was pleasant and encouraged me to come back in July to try to apply for exemption from payments for a while.

The next desk, at the same counter, was the National Health Insurance clerk. There is a safety net for people with high medical costs. If our 30 percent of the bill for medical treatment for a single person within a calender month at a single institution exceeds 80,000 yen, the excess is reimbursed to us a few months later by city hall. There is a service where city hall pays the amounts in excess of 80,000 yen directly to my hospital instead of me paying it all and waiting for a refund, as this would make it easier in the beginning. This is unavailable though to us just yet so I'll have to keep trying along the way.

The clerk was sincere in his efforts to assist me and a nice enough guy that I almost look forward to taking my refund postcard there every month. Take a deep breath and retreat. OK, nothing has changed, I just have an 80,000 yen per month hobby.

Some friends in an online group have generously offered to help in a variety of ways and I have decided that if there was ever a time to learn to accept help, this is it. The messages I've been receiving from my friends and family have been very encouraging and I have much hope for this treatment. The generosity and encouragement have been pleasantly overwhelming, inspiring and much appreciated.


Vicky said...

I'm sorry to hear that your next course of treatment is so expensive - that is not the kind of stress you need right now.... I'm glad that the people at the city hall were kind and helpful, even if they couldn't give you all you really do need.

Keep your chin up and keep plodding on... And yes, accept any and all help that comes your way! You have done a lot for other people in the past I am sure, and in the future it will be your turn again, but right now it's your time to accept. Good luck!

Lily said...

Kathy, I usually read your blog but was offline for a couple of weeks. I am so sorry about the cancer tripling. I am glad you can and WILL get the treatment to help. With your positive attitude, your family, friends and cyber buddies cheering you on I think you are in good hands.
I am looking forward to the time we can meet.