Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Financial Aspects

I know, personally, the monetary impact a chronic illness can have on a family, and I'm reminded time and time again, as I see friends who have no other choice but to declare bankruptcy over medical bills. As if illness isn't enough of a burden on these families the financial strain can be devastating. I don't think most people realize the financial damage illness can cause a family or individual until it happens to them.

Even with insurance, the costs can be monumental. It just doesn't seem right to me that as a family of four we are paying $1447.00 a month for insurance. On top of that, add high deductibles that must be met, office visit co-pays, a 30% "share" until we hit the max out-of-pocket each year, doctors who are not covered by insurance, and lets not forget all the prescriptions with their separate deductibles and co-pays 

In an article  from CNN Health : "This year, an estimated 1.5 million Americans will declare bankruptcy. Many people may chalk up that misfortune to overspending or a lavish lifestyle, but a new study suggests that more than 60 percent of people who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills.

Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report that will be published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine."

We have been lucky, though we do have a continuous stream of medical bills coming in the mail it hasn't driven us to that point. Yet. Here I should note: I was wary of sending Alex's CT to San Diego; the doctor is not  a provider on her insurance plan and her plan offers zero "non-preferred provider coverage". It appears that the hospital there is, and our hope is that the procedure will be done at the hospital, instead of at the clinic location, so the majority of the cost will be covered as a hospital procedure. Alex will be a "cash pay" patient with the doctor as she is with her endocrinologist in LA. If insurance denies the procedure I will be plotting a way to pay cash for that as well. 

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