- Posted February 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Bitter pill: The cost of health care in the U.S.
From a Type I Diabetic – Costs are crushing even WITH medical insurance!
Here’s a breakdown of what I may spend on out-of-pocket costs in a typical year, one where I don’t have any out-of-the-ordinary issues. Employee responsibility towards medical and dental premiums - $1500, insulin copays – $480, blood glucose test strip copays – $300, insulin pump supply coinsurance - $400, low cost supplies which are a necessity in treating low blood sugars (juice, soda, candy) - $500, copays for semi-annual trips to the endocrinologist - $60, annual diabetic eye exam copay - $35, generic acid reflux med copays - $60, generic thyroid med copays - $60, 1 annual visit to Internist for virus, etc - $15, artificial tears which are a necessity in treating dry eye - $120, typical OTC meds like cough syrup, antibiotic - $20, copays for orthopedic visits - $120, dental work - $150, medical insurance deductible - $500, dental deductible - $50, mileage - ????. Total annual out of pocket costs for the above = > $4370. And then there are the costs incurred during years when I experience not so typical health issues - I had to get 2 teeth capped - $750, and coinsurance payments for carpal tunnel surgery as a last resort treatment when less costly conservative options failed - $500.
Until several years ago I didn’t have to pay a “coinsurance” payment in addition to “copays” for medical care and it has doubled from 10% to 20% recently, and my annual deductible went from $100 to $500 in the last year! Why??? My monthly insulin copay went from $20 to $40. Why do the increases have to be so severe? Some of the above are pre-tax and post-tax costs, and now there is less we can pay for with pre-tax dollars through HCRAs. If I can I will use mail-order pharmacy services in an effort to reduce copay amounts but the mail-order service makes so many mistakes it has actually increased the costs and is so frustrating to deal with. You can see that I can spend $400/month just on healthcare, that could be money spent on other things (and maybe help make the economy a little better?) . With the way the medical industry keeps draining our pockets – I can’t imagine why the economy sucks. I’m trying to put some perspective on what some of us are dealing with, the above costs are not optional.