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  • Drowning under medical costs!

    I am SOOO stressed out everyone! All these medical costs just piling up on me with me not working is just killing me.

    Even with insurance, all this stuff is costing me 1000 dollars a month! WHO can afford that, I mean seriously? Well I shouldn't say even with insurance because my insurance is a big part of the problem, at 800 a month for the premiums.

    I am terrified my plan will be canceled because I haven't asked my mom to borrow the money for this month yet because I am too afraid I know she would give it to me in a second and won't give me a hard time but I just don't want to see that stressed look in her eyes when I ask her. She works so hard and all her money goes to helping us kids. Both my older brothers are in PHD programs right now so she helps them quite a bit.

    And now I am already worried about next months premiums! I thought I would be working by now, I have been looking for a job for 3 weeks. But other people keep telling me they didn't get a job for 3 months! I cannot go 3 months not working, i will go crazy by then.

    I also got a little frustrated because I applied at like 5 Starbucks b/c I figured I could work there while I looked for another job. Well already I felt a little weird applying there with a finance degree and the kind of experience I have and then NONE of them called me back! My mom and I were at one of the Starbucks I applied to and the girl working there was seriously incompetent, she had no business working there. She was unable to get ONE drink right for my mom even when we wrote it down and repeated it 15 times. I thought, why would they hire her and NOT ME!

    My prescription plan has changed too so now my meds cost a small fortune. I just emailed my pain doc to see if he can send over scripts for 2 months, instead of 1 month because it is cheaper for me. I am so hoping he will say yes because that will save me quite a bit of money.

    I just HATE our medical system. I keep thinking, if I am having a hard time swinging this as an upper middle class person, what do all the people who make 10 dollars an hour do? This is a crime in my opinion.

    Sarah
    Current meds; , effexor 37.5 mg 2 times a day, and lyrica 100 mg 3 times a day, lots of reading and snuggling with the pets!

  • #2
    Hi Sarah
    I can relate to this all. It is really rough going trying to pay for all the medical things the doctors want to try.
    I hope things get better for you soon.
    Current diagnosis
    Severe IC, Severe Endometriosis(keeps growing back all over despite surgeries and treatment), Chronic ovarian cysts, Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome,Fibromyalgia,Inguinal hernia, bursititis of the hip, Migraines, IBS, Celiac disease, CROHN'S Disease, Chronic Constipation, Chronic anal fissures, Vulvodynia, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pirisformis muscle spasms,vulvar vestibulitis, chronic insomnia, Burning Mouth Syndrome, Brain TUMOR, Chronic Lyme Disease,Temporomandibular Joint Disorder,Degenerative disc disease,Arthritis.
    Allergies: Elmiron, Levaquin, Sulfa-Anaphylactic shock,Morphine, Doxyclycline,Cipro

    Treatments I have tried:Bladder instillations, Oral meds-Elmiron, Elavil (amitryptyline), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril & Atarax), Ditropan, Levsin, Urispas, Urised, Pyridium, Cystoprotek, Desert HarvestAloe,antibiotics,Ultram,Neurontin,Valium,Tramadol,Lunesta,Ketor olac,Cipro,Meloxicam,Dilaudid,Morphine,Vicoden,Darvocet,oxycontin,Lyri ca,Cymbalta,Nortriptyline,Enblex,Baclofen,Clonidine,oxybutynin,Detrol, Nitroglycerine ,Vesicare,Sanctura(there are more but this is enough)
    Physcial Therapy, Cystoscopy with Hydrodistentions, Numerous Nerve Blocks, Neuromodulation-including Sacral neuromodulation(Interstim) and post-tibial nerve stimulation (Urgent PC-12week), Botox, bladder instills, physical therapy, natural(herbs)Current meds: Long list..just email if you are interested
    Interstim implants--8 plus surgeries for them.
    I am selling IC awareness bracelets, keychains, pens and pins..if interested please email me! ThanksFeel free to email me at [email protected].
    One day at a time

    Comment


    • #3
      I can absolutely relate - I am fortunate that my company pays 100% of my medical insurance - but I am paying almost $400 a month for my daughter's insurance - am having $300 a month taken out of my check for the medical flexible spending plan and have already figured out I did not estimate enough - realistically my OUT OF POCKET costs are running almost $400 per month. So yeah - I'm paying $800 a month for med needs - not counting dental etc. - It is quite scary sometimes (if an emergency or unexpected bill comes up) that you might have to choose between food and meds (and I'm middle-class as well). Last year was worse - I had almost $7K in out of pocket due to the diagnosis process -- I also wonder sometimes how it is possible for others to do it........

      DX IC Aug 2007 -DX PFD July 2007
      Severe Allergies since 18 months old
      Meds:Aterax 25 mg @ night (only during allergy season - now)
      Valium 2.5 to 5 mg 2x per day for PFD
      Elavil 50 mg @ night
      Bladder Instillations (at home) 3x per week -
      My recipe is: Lidocaine, Heparin and Sodium Bicarb
      _____________________________________________
      Meds I could not tolerate: Elmiron and Lyrica

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Sarah,
        Oh, that is so awful! Hopefully, you can find a job soon!!! It can be so tough. That's why I'm stuck in a job I can't stand. And I'm having a baby in 3 months so I have to stay at this point!!
        I wonder if the Dr. will write you the scripts. I have often thought of asking my uro to prescribe 2 months of pain killers. One time he wrote me out a prescription for 90 pills a month, but now it's 60 (by my own admission that is adaquate). It just gets expensive. I can never get a message through the receptionist though and the cost of an appt in over $100.
        I went through 3 surgeries (if you count the hydro) that didn't work. $$$ I have been talked into every fetal test you can think of. $ The Drs. make you feel so guilty if you opt out of anything, especially me being on pain killers.
        I hate being stuck looking at my bank account all the time and worrying. I've even thought about not getting an epidural because of the cost. I was in horrible pain the other day and thinking I'll need it though. I can't imagine pain any worse than I've been through, but that's labor I guess.
        If you get a job will it take a while for the insurance to kick in? It might be better to go for a more perminant one in that case. It seems like you almost have to have connections to get hired. I'd start talking to everyone you know and meet about how you are looking for a such and such type of job. You are bound to find something. Best of luck!
        Also, I'm sure your mom loves you and wants to help. Could you borrow some $ until you have an income?

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm sorry you're having such a hard time financially. I just can't believe Starbucks didn't call you back!!! I know they're always hiring around here. It really is hard to take care of medical bills. I know this! I am lucky that I am covered by good insurance and I also have medicare as my secondary so they pay everything for me but my initial deductible at the beginning of the year. My meds are what gets me, even with insurance some of them are very expensive if they don't have generics.

          At any rate, I know things will start improving for you. You really do sound so much stronger and happier right now and I know the perfect job will show up when you least expect it.

          Our entire economy stinks right now and I think most people are in a bind.

          Hugs, Sandy
          *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
          *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
          *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

          Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

          04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sarah
            I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can relate because if I run out of short term disability at work then I will be able to go on long term disability but I will no longer be an employee and will lose benefits. I'm lucky that my cobra will be about $475 a month but that is almost the cost of my mortgage since it's much less expensive to live here in Lancaster.
            I have no idea what I'm going to do then. My kids have medicaid and I tried to call their caseworker last week and ask about getting medicaid for myself. Of course she never called me back so I guess I'll have to call again or find another number to call.
            I agree that all of this is criminal and I don't know what the answer is but I'm scared and I'm not even on cobra yet so I can only imagine how scared you are. My husband also found out for sure that they will cover him at no cost after six months at his job but they won't pay anything towards my coverage so I would have to pay full price for that too so I don't know if we'll be able to afford that either.
            If you ever need to talk PM me, it so sucks that we are so sick and can't get better care for ourselves.
            Christine



            I have been diagnoised for 6 1/2 years now. I have taken a long break from the ICN but really miss helping out my fellow IC patients and want to get back into posting.
            1st hydro 4/07 showed no visible signs of IC but tons of mast cells in all my biopsy samples which did prove IC.
            2nd hydro 4/13/09 showed dark purple glomerulations and I had a capacity of 450 cc's. This hydro proved that my IC had progressed.
            I have tried every oral medication as well as rescue instills and DMSO.

            I have been lucky enough to see Dr Hanno, the top IC specialist in PA who has told me due to the fact that I have not responded to any "standard" treatments that I have a severe, end stage case of IC with a horrible quality of life (didn't have to tell me that last part!)

            Proud wifey of Shane, mommy to Griffin, and step-mom to Logan and Gage
            Also proud mom to the best Bullmastiff on earth, Claus

            Comment


            • #7
              I can relate... I'm working, but when I switched from bench science to writing, I took a huge pay cut (later I found out that I am being SERIOUSLY UNDERPAID though... but that is another story for another day). Anyway, now, paying for my medications and doctor appointments and everything else is a struggle. I have to spend, on average, $300 a month on this stuff.... of course, that's much less than you are, but it's enough to be driving me into the poorhouse.

              The medical system in the US needs major reform. Period.
              ****
              Jen

              *Diagnosed with severe IC in 2004
              *Also diagnosed with PFD, fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, IBS, migraines, allergies/asthma, dermatographism
              *Kept trying a million different treatments for all these things until I found what works, and I am doing okay these days with the help of a cocktail of medications and the InterStim, which was first placed in 2007. [I have had 2 revisions - one in 2010 when my battery died and had to be replaced, and one complete replacement (lead and generator) in 2012 after a fall on my stairs caused my lead to move.]
              *Current meds include Atarax (50mg at night), Lyrica (150mg twice a day), Xanax (0.5mg at night and as needed), Zanaflex (4mg at night), hydrocodone (10/325, every 6 hours as needed), Advair, Nasonex, Singulair (10mg at night), oral contraceptives, home instills containing Elmiron and Marcaine (as often as I need to do them).

              **I am not a medical authority nor do I offer definitive medical advice. I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sarojini View Post
                The medical system in the US needs major reform. Period.
                Yes it does, and without getting political I hope our next president addresses this!!

                No political discussion, just my humble opinion and agreeing with Jen!
                *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
                *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
                *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

                Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

                04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can relate like all the others here, I have insurance the state pays for me but I have to pay for my family and that is costly in itself. Just last night I went to the pharmacy paid $150 on medications (2nd time this month-- so that is $300.00 plus I have another $150.00 to go at the end of the month- this is just co-pays!!) this is mine and my husbands medications only) plus doctors co-pays and who knows what else. It is so unbelievable expensive. I always wonder what people do who do not have insurance???
                  It is going to come down real soon to whether we eat or buy medications and pay for our medical needs...

                  Hopefully, things will turn around for all of us soon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Stressed from medical costs too

                    Hi Everyone,

                    I sincerely hope there will be healthcare reform. I have paid over $38,000.00 in Rx co-pays in the last 10 years. My Blue Cross PPO insurance premiums have jumped to $639.00 monthly from $589.00. Before I finally qualified for the J&J help with Elmiron, I was paying a $250.31 co-pay. I had to wait 4 months for J&J to approve me for patient assistance because my appeal letter didn't immediately arrive on the right desk. Those 4 months cost me over $1,000.00 in co-pays. J&J has been great assisting me with the new process of using their patient assistance program, and I am truly grateful to them.

                    We all need to make our legislators aware of our plight. It is sometimes very hard to write letters and make phone calls when we feel physically ill, in pain and lacking energy. I think that the only way we'll have accessible, affordable healthcare is to do just that.

                    Some of you may have read my posts about my acitivism in healthcare reform. It is extremely gratifying, even though the goal of affordable accessible healthcare isn't easy. I do find that acitivism is a good outlet for the frustration and anger I feel regarding the costs of healthcare.

                    If you feel inclined to research some very interesting insider pharmaceutical information go to www.fiercepharma.com. There's an intersting post on the Heparin contamination in China being intentional in the March 13th (I believe that is the correct date) issue. Anyone can sign up for this "e-zine." What you'll find out by reading www.fiercepharma.com is astounding and very revealing as to why we pay so much for our prescriptions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you for the replies everyone. I still have not calmed down over this whole thing but the only thing I can do is dedicate myself even harder to finding a job. Hopefully one that has great benefits that include Kaiser! I really don't think I could switch from Kaiser now because of all my doctors and the pain mgmt doc I have but I guess I would if I had to.

                      I get insanely angry when I read post after post on here about each one of us struggling. It doesn't seem to matter if you are educated, employed, a stay at home mother, retired, whatever- you still get screwed! The system is just broken, I am sorry that is the only way to describe it. I won't get political but something just has to be done here. And that doesn't even include any mention of the pre-existing condition SCAM that insurance companies have going. That one gets me too mad to even function so I won't talk about it!!

                      We will prevail sometime though, right everyone?!!

                      Love Sarah
                      Current meds; , effexor 37.5 mg 2 times a day, and lyrica 100 mg 3 times a day, lots of reading and snuggling with the pets!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        People without ins have it hard. I get Medicaid 6 months of the year, when my husbands business is slow. It is the hardship factor b/c he is the primary wage earner. When I don't have insurance I go without prescriptions. Like ELmiron. my new dr said since I started it if my ins runs out and I feel it is helping he will appeal to the maker for assistance and if that doesnt work he will pay for it himself. I take Ambien but when ins runs out I don't take it. I have to pick and choose which meds are most beneficial and stop taking the others. It is not that we are low income it is the fact that my husband is self employed and finding a private insurance company to cover my pre existing medical conditions would cost a fortune and it isn't even good coverage. Just covers major things. It really suck.
                        With Lots of Love and Wishes for Pain Free Days~Heather

                        ~I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis at the age of 23, 4 months after getting married. I also have severe Endometriosis, Adhesion Disease and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. All of which were diagnosed AFTER being diagnosed with IC. Before IC my only health issues were a history of migraines since I was a child and a battle with cervical dysplasia. I had a LEEP in 2007 and have been clear of the cancerous cells since.~

                        ~Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions, concerns or comments. Or if you just need a friend, someone to listen. I am almost always lurking around online somewhere. LOL~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Your Dr.

                          Heather,
                          You have a remarkable Dr. All of mine have written "financial hardship letters, but none has offered to even give me a steady supply of samples. Many will, but I have to drag myself down and sort of beg for them. The really ironic thing is that I was an RN for 17 years and I'm having to wade through the "broken healthcare system."

                          Not to be political either, but all of us need to spend a little time when we can calling, writing and faxing our legislators. I just saw an intersting piece on C-Span today. It was a panel discussion moderated by healthcare correspondent Judy Dentzer of PBS. www.researchamerica.org will have a web cast from the site - I don't know times or any details and no time to look it up right now. I'm sure it's probably easy to navigate the site. I highly recommend watching this discussion and the questions which followed.

                          There were panel members from the Corprate Vice President of J&J, to FDA, NIH and CDC official along with the President of AARP. One of the most insightful, I believe, comments was from the AARP President. He expressed that he did not believe that we could/would have meaningful healthcare reform until the middle class became enraged with the costs and spoke out --loudly and clearly.

                          JMHO, but I think he's right. Unless and until enough of us speak out and continue to speak out, I don't think we have a chance at healthcare reform, which will be amazingly difficult at best. We've been trying to enact healthcare for all sinc 1920.

                          "Sick" by Jonathan Cohn is an excellent book whic gives the history of healthcare reform through the eyes of patients whose stories he tells. This book is an excellent source of facts regarding the history of healthcare reform - or I should say, our attempt at it.





                          Originally posted by hdb1982 View Post
                          People without ins have it hard. I get Medicaid 6 months of the year, when my husbands business is slow. It is the hardship factor b/c he is the primary wage earner. When I don't have insurance I go without prescriptions. Like ELmiron. my new dr said since I started it if my ins runs out and I feel it is helping he will appeal to the maker for assistance and if that doesnt work he will pay for it himself. I take Ambien but when ins runs out I don't take it. I have to pick and choose which meds are most beneficial and stop taking the others. It is not that we are low income it is the fact that my husband is self employed and finding a private insurance company to cover my pre existing medical conditions would cost a fortune and it isn't even good coverage. Just covers major things. It really suck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Boy can I relate...not going to jump on the political bandwagon but..wanted to say dont forget if your Insurance Companies offer a RX Mail Order Program - USE IT! You usually save a one month copay by doing so (pay for 2 months, get your 3rd month free).

                            Get online and go to the drug makers websites - many times they have incentives for buying their drug. Example: Kadian users can join the Kadian Club (oh god that sounds just awful LOL! "Hey you a member of the Kadian Club? Oh..Yes..I am! And you?!) Sorry..Just struck me for a moment! Anyways - the makers of Kadian have a program where they give you (free of charge) a RX card and every month they will send you a check for up to $50.00 towards your RX (you provide pharmacy bag/receipt and fill out a form along with a copy of the RX card - thats it). My mail order Kadian costs me $70.00 in copays (I get my 3rd mnth free doing mail order) and the Pharm company sends me a check for $50.00 - making my total cost only $20.00 for a 3 month supply! :woohoo: A $80.00 copay a year for Kadian vs. $280.00 out of pocket - not to mention I'm already saving an additional $140.00 by doing mail order vs. going to a regular pharmacy - YEAH I"LL TAKE IT!!

                            I'm sure if the makers of this drug offer such a thing - other companies do as well. It just takes calling them up or going online and doing research. They are out there - and it also doesnt matter if you have insurance or not. Here's another benefit I get - we moved to a different county in our state (and ONLY this county) offers a FREE 20% off ANY medication (OTC, Pet and RX) prescription card. So..if I wanted to use that as well - I can, but given most of my RX meds are mail order, I cant use it, but I will start using it for other things, I honestly forget I have it. It is free and our county taxes pay for it, So - check with your counties and see if you have anything like that (its not state aid or anything like that..its just a county thing). I didnt know about our county having it until we moved here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My employer has the highest cobra rate I have heard of based on your posts here. I know 475 a month is a lot for medical insurance for anyone. I don't see why but my cobra through my employer is 700 a month. I guess the difference is in the different insurance companies. That's why I had to move back home with the folks I could not afford cobra and rent on Disability. Vicky

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