The cheapest on line cost for Free T3 , Free T4 and TSH was $85. They called it Thyroid panel 2 test. If you live it the sticks, you will have to drive to a medium sized city with a participating lab, its worth looking into. The company that owns this just so happens to be one one the largest fitness clubs in the USA. Good idea.
My husband and I are both self-employed, so we have individual health insurance. As a result, we have a very high deductible. For a mere $500+ a month, we have the pleasure of six doctor visits with a $25 co-pay. Beyond that, we pay for everything up to $5,000. After that, the insurance company splits with us 80%/20% until we reach our out-of-pocket max of $13,000. That's for EACH of us.
This is about the cheapest plan I could find. Health insurance is currently our biggest monthly expense. But, health care reform? Nah, we don't need that! I watch every health care dollar I spend, and I "shop" every procedure we need. It IS amazing the price difference in the same community for the same procedure. If people with good insurance did the same, instead of thinking someone else is paying for this and not giving a hoot, health care might actually become part of the free market economy.
Don't get me started...
my husband lost his job a few months ago and has been working temporary jobs since. He also lost his insurance that only covered him when he lost with his job.
When we were able to pay for insurance I tried to get humana for myself and was denied coverage due to thyroid, PCOS, and depression. I had a state insurance for a year and it covered only OB's and very little else. It did however cover the blood tests I had done.
There is more and more labs testing sites popping up that have very inexpensive costs.
Lab test - i think - is a place where Wisconsin can get labs done.
As for payment options and doctors visits - I am finding more and more doctors ( good ones w/thyroid) are the ones that aren't accepting any insurance plans to treat patients so the corporate plans are pretty much junk anyway. These doctors don't want to be insurance HELD to push pharmacuticals and fake dx's on a patients just to earn their living. They want to treat appropriately and that's it.
The cost can be high in the beginning but as I found personally, the last 4 years of my treatment has actually been the lowest expense ever that I had.
I have gotten back on company insurance but took the absolute bear minimum for emergency stuff - just in case.... I will never rely on insurance again to dictate my decision on how to manage my disease.
When I cut my hours back through our small business, I no longer qualified for health insurance and Cobra was so expensive I've gone without insurance. I've waited 6 months, but am finally eligible for the the PCIP plan through the pre exisiting health care reform.
The rates were alot higher but starting in Jan they will be lower and now there's 3 or 4 plans with different rates available for most states.
For example: I'm a 43F in the state of FL - my premiums will be $352 monthly with a $2,000 deductible.
You have to be eligible by not having any type of insurance for 6 months and be turned down because of a pre-existing condition or have a rider on a policy not covering your conditions.
By the way; we own a small business and found United Healthcare had the best policy and rates for 2 employees (FT=30+ hours weekly) and had a wide array of benefits ($890 monthly for a family of four) until I had to have heart surgery and they raised our premiums by 33% .
Great, informative post. Thank you.
Having health insurance from work *****.
I have it and I have been paying a lot, a lot, out of the pocket, like I've never had before, in other jobs with other plans. I do not have a co-pay and everything is to a "reduced rate," which to me does not have anything to do with the word "reduced."
I guess it is with this kind of plans that people go bankruptcy.
You have health insurance but anyway you're broke.
The other thing is Charity Care (good for those who have lost their jobs). I agree, you do not get the best or even a good thyroid or family doctor under this "plan", however it covers at least all your testing: Vitamins, ANA, etc, etc.
But you have to be very low income to qualify for 100% coverage. At this level, there is not discussion about the importance of testing FT3 per instance, no thyroid disease education whatsoever.
For those in the welfare; medicaid.
Just to think of this matter upsets me very much. I look abroad and compare it with other countries where the health system works much better. What they charge here for testing and medications is just ridiculous, profit for some, misery for the majority.
When they talk about health reform I agree when they say it is not only a matter of the uninsured, but also about the high premiums, deductibles, out of pocket cost, the insured has to pay. INSANE.
Us vs. other countries. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In America we are consumed by immediate this or that, and that is part of the reason our health care cost so much. We demand it now.
In many other countries you need to wait forever to see a doctor, that's how it is in our neighbors to the North. We think they have it good up there, but they really don't. Some counties you cannot even buy any form of T3 - thats messed up.
We pay more, but our system is in reality actually the best if you can afford it. Unfortunately our health care reform will do nothing for the cost, as many assumed it would. It was all about coverage denial.
Many peoples job choice today is reflected by the health care that comes with it. To many that means changing jobs. I ve been uninsured myself before over a year, understanding thyroid will help $ave in the future. It is my belief that health care, like all other overpriced areas will burst its own bubble someday. Cant wait. When people can no longer afford certain services , demand drops, and prices follow. Lets hope.
I think cash doctors and online lab scripts will gain popularity in the near future- both great ideas.
One other thing - When I was unemployed with no insurance, my regular doc reduced my lab test by 35 %. They can reduce prices even if the clinic is not there own, was an eye opener for me.
That says alot LM. When times are tough and a patient doesn't have insurance the health care office can drop the price. However, a patient that is luck to have insurance isn't able to have that done and the insurance company must pay premium prices to cover the service?
Its no wonder why these rates are escalating... Everyone is a number and an insurance card.
Man! I am soooo glad I live in Australia. I do feel so sorry for you guys.
We have a public health system and a private health system. One is called Medicare , the public one, and ALL citizens are entitled to free health care. The other is your choice and you pay for what level of health care you want. You still have to pay a bit out of pocket.
I often read of people on the forum not being able to afford their medications. Here that is unheard of. If you are on a low income you can ask the government for a Health Care Card. This then gives you most prescriptions at around $4.70 regardless if they are normally over $100 or more. If you aren't eligible and you don't take out private health insurance, which can reimburse you over the year if your prescriptions cost a certain amount annually, you pay full price.
It saddens me to see my dear American friends struggling in your economic times, and I wish I could get them all a permanent visa to stay here.
I guess the trade off is; we can't get T3 meds and you guys can.....sigh...us poor old Colonials!
I have insurance through my work; relatively low premiums (< $50/mo, my part, employer pays the rest), the deductible is $1500. I have a $25 co-pay for pcp visits; cost for specialists is more, but goes toward deductible. For meds, I have a $500 deductible for brand drugs; however, generics are rarely over $4/month. We also have a lot of pharmacies who do antibiotics for free.
For those without insurance, all States, and most Counties, in the US have a Public Health Department, at which you can get care based on income; no income, no cost. This is what a portion of our taxes goes for.
I like the idea of the health care bubble bursting - if they would bring down the cost of some things, we wouldn't have to worry so much about insurance.