It's Always About Money
Anyone with a chronic illness is very aware about money. I don’t mean in a whether you have it or not sort of way. I mean in a chronic illness is a serious everyday condition that not only requires time, but it’s own financial commitment.
Our healthcare experience is different
We’re not your average go-lucky American who goes for a yearly physical once a year (which, by the way, are now mostly covered by insurance) and that’s it. We see our primary care physician once a month plus numerous other specialists. Those doctors prescribe medication we take every day, they order tests, blood work, infusions, x-rays and other procedures that we have to endure so these diseases don’t wreck even more havoc on our bodies.
With chronic illness, we are hyper-aware of cost
If we have insurance, we are hyper-aware of our yearly deductible, each doctor’s visit co-pay, out of pocket costs for prescriptions and procedures. And, unfortunately, the way insurance is set up in this country, we are still responsible for a portion after coverage.
Trying to plan medical expenses
At the very least, we can kind of plan for these medical expenses, but planning doesn’t diminish the extra money we’re spending on this tough condition. These routine costs are a good percentage of our incomes and, because of that, we are very aware of any extra financial burden.
Cost for non-routine medical visits
Unfortunately, what I’ve stated above doesn’t even cover the “not so routine” things. We see different specialists for un-related problems or even the same doctors for new symptoms. We don’t really have a choice unless we want to play Russian Roulette with our health. This means there are extra co-pays, more tests, more blood work and probably, more medication.
A series of unexpected health issues
I met a few of these extras myself recently and was forced to decide if I wanted to spend the extra money. PS. I didn’t.
First, my sinusitis flared and I had to see the specialist at least three times, not including the procedure appointment. A tendon in my left wrist became inflamed and I had to see my orthopedic surgeon.
My ENT pushed an antibiotic rinse on me after I had a reaction to the antibiotic. It was a compounded powder. My insurance didn’t cover those types of medications. I had to pay an out of pocket cost equal to three doctor co-pays.
Do I even have a choice?
I told my doctor I couldn’t pay that much for the medication. He said I really didn’t have a choice.
My insurance company recently excluded one of my medications and I had to pay out of pocket.
I told my rheumatologist I couldn’t pay out of pocket. He said I really didn’t have a choice.
It’s always about money and I wish my doctors understood that.
These healthcare cost can impact finances
The monthly cost seems very insignificant but it adds up. What if I put that extra chunk of change every month for a routine medication? That’s money I can’t then spend on a medical emergency. Those “measly” dollars add up quickly to hundreds of dollars that I won’t have if I’m suddenly hospitalized or some other incident occurs.
But, our healthcare is what's keeping us alive
It’s always about money and not whether we have it or not. We are counting coins to make sure we can afford our healthcare because, at the end of the day, that’s what’s keeping us alive and we have to be careful where we put it.
Do you feel the same way I do? LMK in the comments.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?