K, so I did an interesting thing for our accountant the other day... Anyone else do this yet? I prepared a spreadsheet of medical expenses because he felt we might derive some tax benefit based on the amount out of pocket dollars spent for my thyroid cancer treatment. It was an interesting and depressing endevor. I had columns for: The Date. Treatment. Amount charged for the Proceedure/Doctor. Amount of write down by the provider based on their relationship with the insurance company. The amount the insurance company actually paid. And the amount we actually paid out of pocket. ...$$$
Surprise...(to me at least...) The provider write off amount was more than what the insurance company actually paid (almost 10K more!) Our "out of pocket" amount was only slightly less than what the insurance company paid on our behalf. :-(( Total cost to us: More than 10k for 2007! We paid almost as much as the insurance company, not including the premiums! And we have really good insurance coverage! And, my cancer was dx'd relatively quickly and is a fairly inexpensive type of cancer to treat. So what's the point of insurance? To hyper-inflate medical billing so that the insurance company can come in an negotiate a huge lump off of your bill on your behalf (to look like you're receiving some benefit from them for your dollars spent), then end up paying what you should have been charged "fairly" for the doctor's services in the first place without insurance??? Hmmmmmmmm????
No wonder our healthcare system is in REAL TROUBLE...! I just don't know how people wth lesser insurance coverage or maybe even no coverage whatsoever, can recover financially after a devistating blow like cancer or other long-term ailments. After this exercise, I'm left with my jaw on the floor and wondering where do we go from here? How can we possibly fix this gigantic mess?
Usually my thyroid problem (TT) costs me $85.00 a year (medication and yearly check in for blood check). But honestly we have been lucky to always have great insurance did not matter what company I worked for. All we ever did and still do is pay the co-pay of $20.00 if we need to see the doctor. We do not have a deductible and our medicine is across the board for name brand $10.00 and $5.00 for generic brand. Now if we see a specialist it is $35.00 and $25.00 for ER visit.
I have had major surgery twice, my son twice, and my husband just recently. Just the co-pay and if we have to go back for a follow up on some issue, we do not pay the co-pay, unless it is a new problem we are seeing them for.
being in the uk i have paid nothing for my thyroid problems ive had tt and pap cancer now being treated for another suspect lump not only is it all free long term conditions such as hypo entitles you to an exemption certificate so all future meds are free from prescription charges even if there not thyroid related so i suppose thats some consolation i dont think i would be able to afford your treatment
one good thing with your system is you can ask for what you want. here its really hard to get refered unless your dr refers you and you dont get a choice in when you go or what tests you get you dont generally get t3 tests or vit deficiencies or armour but i suppose its not bad for nothing.
My husband pays just under $1000.00 a month for our family's insurance coverage. This covers he and I, and our daughter. It is a small insurance trust (serving like businesses in our state) of which he is a board member.
So a thousand dollars a month, plus the 10k we paid last year... SO different than the UK.... And don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the choices, doctors, and medical care I've had. But somewhere, somehow, there has to be a better way... I know it usually isn't the doctors that are getting rich. Maybe if the insurance companies didn't take such a HUGE cut and force the costs through the roof.... So now I'm just venting...
My thyroid has cost me somewhere around $100,000.00 at a minimum.
That figure is two years of lost income and four years of medical bills. It probably falls short of the actual figure.
Three CT scans.
A thyroid uptake test.
RAI (cheap at only around $700).
An angiogram (with an overnight in the hospital and transport by ambulance).
Another overnight in the hospital.
Eight or nine (or twelve?) trips to the emergency room.
Hundreds of various blood tests.
Driving halfway around the globe going to doctor appointments.
$150,000.00 might be closer.
Not that I incurred all that expense. My insurance paid...well, when you look at what I pay THEM every month, and what they "adjusted" the hospitals and clinics down to, they paid...about what I did on the medical end. Probably more. A couple of items weren't cheap.
My insurance is set up so my total out of pocket per year is $5,000.00 and I have some coverage for medicine, although it's not great. My insurance COSTS me about $5,000.00 a year, but I suppose we shouldn't count that for this question.
So I guess in four years it has cost me about 18-20 thousand for doctors and meds, and two years of lost income out of the last four. I know the insurance companies have shelled out more than I have, so a total of 125,000 to 150,000 is pretty close.
This subject is a total sore exploding infection for both of us.
My situation is a bit different I had ( as I wrote in my journal) the "cadilliac" of insurance in 2002 when I was DX w/ Graves disease. Endo's - PCP's MD's Cardio Doctors - Nero's ( you name it were on me like "flies on Sh**" over this"simple" Graves Disease Problem.
I had at that time a zero copay - and 100% paid to them for anycare they ordered. I estimate my first year in a half totalled somewhere in the $85,000.00 to $100 grand.
Then when all got messed up and I lost that job because I couldn't function with hypo/ and Hashi - (wich no one found until now) after RAI
- it was now to using my husbands insurance which you are better off just dying then trying to get them to pay anything. ( and they probably wished I would have just died!)
That year in 2004 until August 2006 we paid out about 18,000.00 for my care. I think the insurance was at that time a 40% payout for us after I reached a 3000.00 deductable.
OMG -- I feel woozie now :0
Now that I got back to work I have decent insurance (not cadilliac) but very good.
I think now I have had to pay for my regular care with my MD a total of 250.00 all year. My Armour IS NOT covered any longer on my RX plan so that runs me $20 bucks a month and I visit a bio identical doctor - an acupucturist - and Chinese med at my cost ( Bio MD does have some insurance write offs) Chiro visits too - when I can.
I don't even add that up anymore - but I do save all my visit reciepts - all Rx's reciepts - and I have records of every payment I make to any Doc -
my tax lady loves me :)
Add in the supplements - better food - and whatever else I get to help me though - and it is unbelievable.
..I know what u mean with the bogus charges to the insurance and then also to the paitent...it just doesn't seem right....what r we paying the insurance comp for?? I had PT after knee surgery and after the alotted number of sessions were met I had to pay directly for the appointments...w/ insurance I pd $25.00 per visit- and the insurance was billed $75.00...w/o insurance I pd $25.00......what is wrong with this picture????
I am lucky to have good group insurance ... my co pays were probably about $500 in 2007 including the surgery copay of $250 and in 2008 probably only $150 in co-pays. Without insurance my surgery was probably $50,000, if not more and then a yr later my daughter had her gallbladder out with an 8 day stay and her copay was only $250 but the face value w/o insurance would have been $125,000 for that stay. YIKES!
I've made at least several nice house payments for the Endob_tch who milked me for all I was worth and left me to die. She told me to quit taking all my meds to see what happened and I nearly died. One doc says "Stop taking this," and the other says, "Start taking that," and I end up being rushed to the hospital on the life squad. Along with all the darn tests and scans and scans and more scans and tests, I'm left with two hospital bills that I feel SHE should have to pay. I'm really bitter about the whole thing. It would've been cheaper and easier to buy a casket.
Do I get to include the complications caused by my thyroid (like the scarred liver from the last RAI that just cost me over $16k??). How about the fact I'm not eligible for insurance anymore and have to be part of the state's high risk pool for about $1k a month. Man, then there is the arthritis, osteoporosis, all the scans (CT, MRI, RAI, DEXA, bone density . . . yada yada). Oh, or the $300-400 worth of blood tests per month? How about the over $400 (my cost) worth of prescriptions a month? How about the pain and suffering and my sanity??
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