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How much money do you need to have to be sick?

So, can someone please tell me why healthcare is so expensive? Seriously. During my last endoscopy and colonoscopy I paid $718 out of pocket, I'm not sure about you guys but I don't have that kind of money just laying around. It was expensive to me. Then I get a bill in the mail for another $785 from the doctor. I just can't win. How am I going to afford Remicade at this rate? Oh and on top of it all I haven't worked today or yesterday because I'm too sick, I don't get PTO or sick time so its just money I'll never earn. I just wish there was someway I could earn money, or not be sick, or be rich. :ybatty::eek::mad2:


OH and I should mention that my husband and I also pay over $600 a month for our insurance, and this is with insurance. AHHHHHH!!!!!
 
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CLCH87,
It helps if you are rich and then get sick. I know your dilemma. I have the same health insurance company as last year but a new deductible and max out of pocket. This years deductible is $3000 and my max out of pocket is $6000. Last years deductible was $500 with a max out of pocket of $2500.
It sounds like if you're scopes were done after January 1, your deductible applies first. If you are going to be put on Remicade, they have a program called RemiStart that helps pay the copays that you're insurance doesn't pay. Definitely look into this. It will help significantly.
Good luck with this.
 
Wow, that deductible is killer. Ours is $1500 with 30% after that to $3500. Our year starts on October 1st so I'm getting really close to meeting our out of pocket. Thanks for the info on RemiStart, I'll look into it!
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
Check with your doctor's office or hospital about getting financial aid. The first year I was sick, I had insurance with something like a $4,000 deductible and I maxed that out and then some, and ended up with about $6,000 in doctor bills in one year. I set up a payment plan and started chipping away at that debt. Then someone at the hospital sent me an application for financial aid. It was pretty ridiculous actually - it said to qualify for aid, you have to be something like 500% below the poverty line and that your doctor bills have to account for at least 50% of your income, etc. Nope and nope, but I filled it out anyway on a whim. I actually got approved, even though I didn't meet the ridiculous qualifications, and they wiped out my debt. I went from $6000 in medical debt to $0, overnight - it was wonderful! So do look into that, and don't get discouraged even if it looks like you won't qualify - apply anyway, you may get approved for it.
 
Check with your doctor's office or hospital about getting financial aid. The first year I was sick, I had insurance with something like a $4,000 deductible and I maxed that out and then some, and ended up with about $6,000 in doctor bills in one year. I set up a payment plan and started chipping away at that debt. Then someone at the hospital sent me an application for financial aid. It was pretty ridiculous actually - it said to qualify for aid, you have to be something like 500% below the poverty line and that your doctor bills have to account for at least 50% of your income, etc. Nope and nope, but I filled it out anyway on a whim. I actually got approved, even though I didn't meet the ridiculous qualifications, and they wiped out my debt. I went from $6000 in medical debt to $0, overnight - it was wonderful! So do look into that, and don't get discouraged even if it looks like you won't qualify - apply anyway, you may get approved for it.
Thanks for that!! I've been paying a hospital bill down slowly so maybe they can help me! That would help pay this doctor's office.
 
I am pretty down in thendumps about money. I do notnfeel worth it to my family anymore. I have the $3500 deductible out of pocket. I am on a payment plan with the hospital which I owe $4000 or so, and a bill for $3000 for Mayo clinic. That is after they graciously cut my bill in half, but they are demanding $150 a month, or it will go to collections. (I was there for a non GI problem.) I have many specialists for different things...$50 co pays. Now my GI dr. has referred me to a dr. At a different hospital, 2 hrs away. I have not gone yet...I keep cancelling because that would be a whole new account. My oncologist is having a hissy fit that I have not gone. He does not understand that some od us patients just cannot afford it. I feel like a pet who's owner just needs to let nature take it 's course! Sorry to sound so pathetic! At least I am cheap to feed!
 
Lots of medication companies, hospitals, and doctors offer patient assistance programs and charity care. You do have to ask about it, though, because they are pretty hesitant to mention it on their own. I don't know if this was mentioned, but the RemiStart program offers rebates for patients on Remicade. Here's the link to the website http://www.remistart.com/
 
My surgeons office wont let me schedule my reversal surgery until I come up with their ballpark estimate of what my portion of the surgery will cost. Their are saying $1000 will allow me to schedule...I guess I can pull that out of my currently non-functioning keister lol. Healthcare in this country is ridiculous to say the least
 

UnXmas

Banned
You should all come to the UK. I've had years of endless tests, consultations, meds, surgeries... and never paid a penny. Seriously, why don't other countries' governments realise how much better this healthcare system is?!
 
You should all come to the UK. I've had years of endless tests, consultations, meds, surgeries... and never paid a penny. Seriously, why don't other countries' governments realise how much better this healthcare system is?!
I really would love to move there. I've also heard how much better your education system is. My husband isn't sold on moving to another country though.
 
If I'm not correct, I do believe that the ones to benefit most from the the Affordable Care Act are those who are on Medicaid. Everything gets covered for them; so I'm told. The rest of us pay for their coverage. We also get hit with huge deductibles etc. and lots of things either no longer being covered or have to pay through the roof for them. I've also discovered that some test now are being offered on a once per lifetime basis. My deductibles and catastrophic out of pocket limit seems to be even higher than what's been posted so far. The middle class will not be able to afford health care. I guess if the middle class dies off due to lack of being able to afford health care, then Obama's newest agenda of providing a "ladder up" for the lower class to middle class will be achieved. :hallo3:
 
That is insane! I bitch about having to wait with Canadian healthcare, but at least I don't have to pay for it :(
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
Kero and UnXmas (or anyone else in Canada / the UK) - out of curiosity, do you guys pay anything at all for medical stuff in Canada / the UK? For example, I think I've heard that you do have to pay for certain things such as prescriptions, ostomy supplies, etc? What's an average wait time like for an appointment there?

I ask because prescription costs are really straining my budget here. I am on Pentasa, and there's no generic, so I have to get the name brand. Even with insurance, it's $75 a month. (It'd be about $500 a month without insurance!) And I'm also on Nexium, and again there's no generic available. I did get a discount card, so with that and insurance, I'm paying $25 a month for the Nexium. So between the Nexium & the Pentasa, that's $100 every month for just 2 of the 6 prescriptions I take! (Fortunately the other 4 are generic & cheap.) It gets tough sometimes having to plunk down that kind of money just for some pills, and still have to pay all my other bills and buy groceries and put gas in the car, etc. But if I don't get my prescriptions then I know I'll feel way worse and not be able to work and not have enough money to do all that stuff anyway, so... it's like a catch-22! You have to work so that you can afford your medications so that you're well enough to work so that you can afford your medications... :p
 

rygon

Moderator
We pay for medical expenses through taxes (a percentage per pay wage) which you cannot opt out of.
Prescriptions cost £7.85 per different item per time, but you can get a prepay card which gives you unlimited prescriptions for the price of 12 prescriptions. (Scotland is free)

As far as im away, if the ostomy is permanent then you do not pay.

Waiting times vary, for blood test ive been anywhere between 1min for 40mins. Seeing the doc normally an hour wait to hr and a half
 
I grew up in near abject poverty, which left wounds that will never heal and when I hear about other's $ problems, I feel incredibly sad. Our country is wealthy and has no need to deprive it's citizens of basic needs: Food, shelter and healthcare.

Did you know it costs an average city in the U.S. $2,300 per month to care for their homeless because they over-use expensive services, like the ER. Since we're already spending the money, why don't we do so with a bit of compassion and common sense?!

Medical costs and potential medical costs, are why I am currently renting out 2 rooms in my house.
 
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In Alberta health care is free. The government estimates that you should be covered to $25,000 per year - if you go over that with Remicade, you just call them and they increase it. With me, as I'm on Remicade, they cover everything except a $25 deductible. I have 2 private health plans (one blue cross & 1 Manulife through work) and they cover my prescription drugs (other than Remi). They also cover eye exams, dentist, physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, etc. the private plan costs me $100 per month for a family plan. I've had surgeries, medication, hospital stays and never paid a cent.
 
I was just going to say what Rygon has. We pay for the NHS through our National Insurance contributions, which I think is 12% of your salary.

Personally I have a pre-payment card for my prescriptions which is £10.40 a month and is unlimited, I get all my fortisips with this and it also covered all my ostomy products when I had a Stoma.
As an adult I pay for dental care, it's £17 for a check up, I can cope with that, and I pay for eye tests, but there are often deals where the eye test is free if you buy a pair of glasses.

If you have a permanent ostomy or certain medical conditions prescriptions are free, as are they if you are under 18, over 60 (I think) or on benefits.

If you have infusions (infliximab, iron etc) at the hospital or Humira injections they are free.

I have never had to wait for an appointment. If I need to see my gastro or IBD nurse urgently they fit me in ASAP. I am also able to get an appointment with my GP on the same day if I ring up first thing.

I do also have private medical insurance which my parents pay for, and have used that to see my surgeon and for two of my surgeries, because I can get a consultation usually on the same day or at the longest the same week.
 
I,m in scotland(uk)there are some minor differences in the nhs,we don,t pay for prescriptions or the care side of residential care for the elderly,my mum had dementia and went into care the local authority paid 99%of it so there were some minor costs as others have said we pay 12%of our wages but not pensions?the nhs like all big organisations has issues but taking money off sick people isn't, tone of them.
My guilty pleasure is Fox News(I know)and find it shocking the state of health care in the wealthiest nation in the world but they knock any attempt to improve it!you need our nhs even with all the problems it has,making a profit off sick people is plain wrong.
 
rrhood1, To clarify: in Alberta, if we seek care at a physician's office, hospital, or Urgent Care Centre for care that is covered by Alberta Health, our tax dollars will pay for it. However, if we require prescription medications, physiotherapy outside of a hospital, eye exams, glasses, dental care--these are not covered by Alberta Health.

If we met certain low income thresholds basic prescription medications and some health services like physiotherapy, dental services and glasses will be covered.

Otherwise, it is up to us and our employers as to what coverage we have. For instance, my Alberta Blue Cross coverage covers only $500.00 maximum in prescription medications. When I was on Exclusive Enteral Nutrition for my treatment and nutrition, I had to pay the full expense after $500.00. This cost me several thousand dollars. Many people have to pay personally for out-patient chemotherapy medications, and other prescriptions. Not everyone in Alberta has a good employee supplemental health plan.
 
In Manitoba is similar to Alberta, our taxes pay for most Hospital/Dr required healthcare, so all tests, admissions, surgeries etc. My Private insurance through work covers eye exams, massages, prescription meds and such. I don't even want to know how much I cost the government.

One difference here is you don't really have to be low income to qualify for pharmacare (government program that pays for drugs). I don't consider myself low income, I make 40,000+ a year and they pay for all of my drugs (Humira, nexium mainly) I have to pay a deductible of about 1000, my private insurance covered 80% of that and then Abbot picked up the rest. And I get about $200 worth of airmiles each month. The sad thing is I have 3 boxes of humira in the fridge right now and my GI wants me to stop taking them to try something else.
 
I just paid over $600.00 for medications this week. Between nexium & Xifaxan (Rifaximin) the cost was around $500.00. (Health Ins Company's portion paid was $800 and some odd for one Rx and $1,000.00 and some od for the other.) Who can afford this after just paying for community college tuition and books. Not looking forward to paying the credit card bill when it comes in.

Cost for items vary from state to state here in the United States. Do they in other parts of the world?
 

UnXmas

Banned
Kero and UnXmas (or anyone else in Canada / the UK) - out of curiosity, do you guys pay anything at all for medical stuff in Canada / the UK? For example, I think I've heard that you do have to pay for certain things such as prescriptions, ostomy supplies, etc? What's an average wait time like for an appointment there?

I ask because prescription costs are really straining my budget here. I am on Pentasa, and there's no generic, so I have to get the name brand. Even with insurance, it's $75 a month. (It'd be about $500 a month without insurance!) And I'm also on Nexium, and again there's no generic available. I did get a discount card, so with that and insurance, I'm paying $25 a month for the Nexium. So between the Nexium & the Pentasa, that's $100 every month for just 2 of the 6 prescriptions I take! (Fortunately the other 4 are generic & cheap.) It gets tough sometimes having to plunk down that kind of money just for some pills, and still have to pay all my other bills and buy groceries and put gas in the car, etc. But if I don't get my prescriptions then I know I'll feel way worse and not be able to work and not have enough money to do all that stuff anyway, so... it's like a catch-22! You have to work so that you can afford your medications so that you're well enough to work so that you can afford your medications... :p
In the UK, children and certain groups (unemployed, elderly, etc.) get free prescriptions. I get them free because I have a stoma. I used to pay I think £7 something per prescription. There are also schemes to get a reduced rate if you have many prescriptions, e.g. I used to get a yearly card for as many prescriptions as I needed that worked out much cheaper than paying per prescription. This is in England. I believe it's free for all in Scotland and possibly Wales.

Waiting times vary hugely, depending on urgency and the area you live in. If they suspect you have cancer (for example) you'll be getting tests and consultations the next week. For routine appointments and surgeries and tests, maybe a few months wait.
 

DustyKat

Super Moderator
In Australia the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is run by the Federal Government and so is the same in all states:

Patient contribution and safety net[edit]

When purchasing a medication under PBS the maximum price a patient pays is the patient contribution, which in 2013 was A$36.10 for general patients. For PBS drugs up to $36.10, the patient pays the PBS dispensed price plus an additional $1.11 safety net recording fee plus an optional pharmacy charge of $4.11 or less, provided that the total charge does not exceed $36.10. Concessional patients - ie., low-income earners, welfare recipients, Health Care Card holders, etc. and those covered under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) - pay a patient contribution of $5.90 in 2013. Patient contributions are compulsory and cannot be discounted by pharmacies.

Safety net provisions in PBS reduce patient contributions when singles and families exceed in a calendar year the PBS safety net threshold on PBS medications: general patients are entitled to PBS medications at the concession price for the remainder of that calendar year; while concession patients are entitled to PBS medications at no cost for the remainder of the year.
We are not low income earners so for us a PBS script is $36.10 maximum.

Dusty. :)
 

DustyKat

Super Moderator
@Cat:

In Australia if you join a stoma association then the Government provides stoma related products (aids and appliances) free of charge. So if I joined the NSW stoma association it would cost me $45 for the year in membership fees and that would give me free ostomy supplies.

Dusty. :)
 
I have a 5000 dollar deductible per person in my house before insurance covers anything and I pay 350 dollars a month out of my paycheck. I am in debt up to my ears. From what I can figure, Affordable Healthcare Act insurance in double my monthly payment with similar deductible. I do have good prescription coverage though
 
Oh goodness, I wish I had enough money to be sick!

I got a phone call while at work about my colonoscopy next Saturday, they told me I will owe them $951 when I get there!!! :eek2: And I have "really good" insurance. I nearly broke down and cried right then.
 
Oh goodness, I wish I had enough money to be sick!

I got a phone call while at work about my colonoscopy next Saturday, they told me I will owe them $951 when I get there!!! :eek2: And I have "really good" insurance. I nearly broke down and cried right then.
I paid over $700 for mine when I got there. And another $700 bill this week for the doctor. Good luck.
 
No panic with the money. It does take some work. If you have it, they want it. I continued to force myself to get up and work for the past 10 years. Paying and paying, thousands of dollars, no car, cheap rent, struggling. Then i learned, you can't just work for the doctors. Your health is not going to improve, you will not get better. Don't let me get you down , there is no cure. The meds are expensive. There is no way out of poverty. However, you do need to just be poor and disabled. At that point the help will start. Tragically months after you lose that job and months after eviction. But if you can, get in as disabled and get medicare. If you can and do work, get a balanced insurance plan, cover gaps with aflac if you can.
 
Getting help is tough, and we need a better system. I lost everything, home, business, jobs, money. Now that the constant illness has rendered me totally handicapped, i can have help with medications and living.
 
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