So today jaylake
made another post about his cancer; this time about the costs. Go read it please, I'll wait. There are some Slightly Sqicky things below, but this is too important for me to hide behind a cut.
And as Jay said he has "good" insurance, but his out of pocket costs are still more than he can truly afford. I too have "good" insurance. Yet my out of pocket medical costs in 2008 were over $7500 (excluding the payments for the insurance itself). More than I too could afford, but I had a job that paid well and my credit rating wasn't bad, so I could juggle things and be ok. That is until my former partner neglected to turn off utilities at the house we had owned and refused to pay the bills (some of which had not been paid in months - but since he was living there he was getting the bills, not me).
Suddenly I was in the position of having to chose between further hits to my credit and collection agencies or cleaning out my IRA so I could pay his bills and use the IRA to pay my medical expenses. Didn't work out so well, as even after that I couldn't afford some of the medications that were recommended, and of course even though it was used for medical expenses cleaning out my IRA cost me a huge tax hit. But I felt like I had no choice in the matter, and did what was necessary.
Fast forward to May 2009. My health has been getting worse, I'm having memory loss (something new in 11/08 or so), and I get laid off from my job. Unemployment pays about 1/3 of my normal salary after taxes (I worked a lot of Overtime and that bumped my paychecks up significantly). And I still have the very high out of pocket costs, only now I have to pay for COBRA too.
Oh, and the basic tests to determine the cause of the memory loss tell us nothing, so now we're into very expensive tests needing to be done. The lyme test has been done, thanks to my father's generosity. Mom has been helping me out a lot too, and friends and strangers have gotten together and donated via paypal so I could continue getting care in 2009.
But hey, now it's 2010. COBRA rates go up, and I have a new $2000 deductible to pay before insurance will pick up anything at all. And I need an EEG and an MRI, which will have to be paid out of pocket.
I could go on, but really there's not much else to say. The system we currently have is broken beyond belief. My insurer won't reimburse me for 2007/2008 expenses, and I'm still working on the 2009 filing (it's massive, probably $10,000 or more out of pocket) but I expect they'll refuse to pay those as well. And I have "good" health insurance.
WTF happens to those who don't have "good" insurance, or to me when COBRA runs out in May? One of my prescriptions (Vfend) costs ~$4200/month full price; I paid $60 for that (co-pay went up from $45 last year), but when my insurance runs out I can't afford that anymore. Should I just let the Candidia spread until it becomes Septicemia or invades my lungs and I die?
Of course I will continue to get proper care if it's at all possible. I am hoping to find a job soon, so I'm insured through work again. And in the meantime I'll struggle to pay the important bills, and everything else will have to wait.