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_Whitetigress's avatar

Does suffering from anxiety/panic attacks count as an emergency? (See Details)

Asked by _Whitetigress (4349 points ) September 3rd, 2012

I’m seeking health insurance through low income state benefits would. Last week I admitted myself to the ER for chest pains after what I think was an anxiety/panic attack, at the time I thought it was a heart attack as I felt my middle chest have a spasm while I was trying to put baby to sleep. I checked out alright, but got myself a hefty bill. I’m 24, part-time student/part-time working/have a son/married. Now I went in for chest pains but I left with the M.D. saying, “The only thing we think it could be is a blood clot, but typically a leg becomes swollen, so you’re good to go!” Something along those lines anyway is what he said. I’m applying to “Medi-Cal.” It’s California’s low income program for those seeking health benefits.

Any ways, I’m at a question where it says,

Does anyone have a personal emergency?
Options are,
1. Immediate Medical Need
2. Pregnancy
3. Child Abuse
4. Domestic Abuse
5. Elder Abuse
6. Other emergency which threatens health or safety

I’m thinking I should check the immediate medical need, so I can further get advice from a M.D. to check out my stress and physical overall health through out the year.

Last year together we made 39K. My wife made about 33 of that, while I was in school/receiving unemployment.

What is your opinion? I would really appreciate some advice.

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7 Answers

creative1's avatar

I would think either 1 or 6 would apply… since he said it could be a blood clot I would say 6 so you could get the necessary tests to rule it out. Is there an 800 number on the form to call and question what falls under these to be specific?

_Whitetigress's avatar

There is an 800, but it’s holiday today I will try back tomorrow. I hope it’s not automated*

wundayatta's avatar

Did you ask whether it could be a panic attack? Perhaps they would give you a mental health consultation. You could check into the mental health er, as well.

wonderingwhy's avatar

One sounds like diagnosed or currently presenting symptoms. If they’re strict, you may not qualify for that as, while the dr. suggested it could be a blood clot, though it sounds like they felt comfortable dismissing it, they didn’t seem to find you in any immediate danger or even provide a concrete diagnosis. Six sounds like a catch-all which may be a more likely qualifier for you for the same reasons but from a differing perspective – that is you could have a blood clot which while not an immediate threat could be serious and seems worthy of at least a basic follow-up and if you don’t you had symptoms that were effectively not explained which again seems at least worthy of a basic check-up. My only concern with using six would be that the benefits may run out quickly if evidence of an issue doesn’t turn up right away.

Definitely give them a call before you make a choice to understand how they define the categories.

Cruiser's avatar

I would definitely pick #1. You had the symptoms of very serious medical issues that demanded immediate medical assistance. That is all you should concern yourself with regards to submitting this claim. Anxiety attack or not the outcome is essentially irrelevant when processing a claim for medical services rendered at the time of your emergency.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Seconding what both @wundayatta and @Cruiser said, at the time it was certainly an emergency health issue, for purposes of taking care of the bill you’ve got, #1 definitely seems the way to go. In terms of future follow up, #6 might be better if a panic attack is believed to be the cause as it might be better able to cover a non-emergency mental health consult.

gailcalled's avatar

The medical directives everywhere say to get to an ER asap when having symptoms that may well be panic attacks but that mimic heart attacks. You, as a patient, have no way of knowing what precisely is an Imm. Med. Need.

However, that said, now that you know you are prone to panic attacks, there are free solutions to dealing with the next one.

Call, as everyone has suggested, to get help in steering you through the bureaucracy.

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