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HIgh medical costs and how to deal with it

meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Pain Medications
Hi everyone

I am interested in how do you all cope with expensive medicine costs and office visits/procedures in this tight economy. Has anyone had to cut back or change medications? Any experiences on how you can or can't manage costs is greatly appreciated.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349
    Keeping costs down! (Only speaking for USA)
    The problem has some flavor of what came first the chicken or the egg?

    Insurance premiums have been climbing higher and higher over the past 10 years. At one time, major companies provided Medical benefits to their employees at no cost. That a changing scene now. Health premiums keep going up and up.
    What used to cost $750-$1000 for a family of 4 is now costing $5,000 for a family of 2.
    Insurance premiums have gone up through the rising cost of medicines for starters. Medical professionals, doctors now have to pay an unbelievable amount of money for malpractice insurance. SO, that in turn forces them to raise their costs.
    Then since in the United States medical institutes can not turn away medical care to someone in need. Someone has to pay! Those costs are passed on to us in many different ways.
    I heard of the amount of money just our local Hospital losses for people who cant pay, the dollar amount blows you away. So take that and multiple across the nation.
    All of this adds up to higher costs to the individual for everything

    But how do we manage this? For spinal patients and many other chronic pain sufferers, we just can't say forget it, we cant forgo treatments, we cant forget about our pain medications, etc. And if we do that, we open ourselves
    op for more serious problems that will cost more in the long run.
    I dont know how to cut back in these areas. But I do know that without insurance, its just about impossible to pay for medical coverage.

    My son is a chef and has his own business and as such does not have any medical insurance. He took the stand that because individual health insurance premiums were so high ($2-4,000 month) he would gamble. Well he lost. He had some gastro problems and his bills between the procedures and medicines are up over a $100,000.
    To get by, he has to shop around for the best deal in prescription drugs, checking for generics or other substitutes. One medication he was taking was the same exact medication my wife has taken. We pay $10 copay for it, he had to pay $250 for the same amount. Doctors ask him to come in for follow up visits, he tells he just cant afford it.

    So what does this say?

    If you have insurance, you will have to deal with the increase of medical coverage each year.

    If you dont have insurance, I really dont know how you can continue.

    None of this is easy and I only am afraid it will get worse
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • It's a shame that in this country that someone as hardworking as your son with a good profession is uninsured. I don't know the remedy and I won't get political O:) I do know about Humana One for individuals; hopefully it's less costly. I've been uninsured before because we couldn't afford COBRA premiums, and I know what it was like. Medicare isn't perfect, but it's surely better than nothing.

    As far as what came first, the chicken or the egg? - All I know is that we are getting fried.
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  • I could give you a list of reasons why I'm glad I will never have to deal with them again. I would keep shopping if I were you. Let me just tell you. I had ACDF surgery for which they are refusing to pay for anesthesia. I guess they thought I should have that type of surgery wide awake. X(
    I have insurance and I still have to make deals with doctors and hospitals. They are sometimes able to make payment arrangements with me that match my income. Some hospitals even have the ability to reduce or even forgive some of the expenses if you fall under their guidelines for approval. But if we aren't healthy individuals then we can't work and then we are in even bigger trouble.

  • Well I am on SSDI, in my state, all the supplemental programs exempt me because at 37 I live at home.With my minimal under $700 #o I rarely make ends meet and something takes a cut.Pain is my issue now, so I get those meds first and food.My diabetes, I focus so hard to keep it level and get the necessary 6 mos. blood tests to confirm.All the test and doctor bills are piled up, I have to cut my Rheumatologist off w/o him truly telling me if some form of spondy-arthritis may be the root of my pain.I still do not have some symptoms- yet and more often than not it takes a few years for a correct DX.
    My bipolar, I have a stockpile of samples to get by for a month or 2.

    Currently, I am considering a part time job, if anyone will take me.My moods are worse than mother nature, no focus and back/leg pain added yikes!! But I have to do something!!!
  • My husband and I are self employed as well and just this past spring decided to stop gambling that we would stay healthy (hitting 50) and got health insurance. One reason we decided to get it was because of my back. Although workmans comp. is paying for this it made us realize that any health issue could bankrupt us.

    We are paying 516.00 per month for the two of us and I think its pretty good insurance. Its picked up all my scripts with a $10.00 copay and office visits are 30/70 and I think we have a 3,000 deductable.

    The pre exising condition expires in February so if workmans comp drops me than I will turn it in to insurance, I may do that anyway, I don't feel I am getting treated fairly because its a workmans comp claim.

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  • I went to pick up my meds and found out that I fell in the doughnut hole and had to pay full price. And I had just one more month to go. I'm just going over to another plan on the 1st of the year. Now I have to figure out how to pay for December.
    Frustrated. have you tried a mood stabilizer like Tegretol or Depakote? Zyprexa is an antipsycotic and it is known to cause diabetes. I heard they have a lawsuit against the manufacturer. I hope something out there will help level you out; I have a relative with it and I understand about the mood swings.
    Tomycat, are you kidding me about the insurance not covering anesthesia? That's outrageous and stupid. Run from them-quickly. Suziee, Workmen's Comp is never fair.
    I believe that once you have back problems, you'll never quite get out of hole, with everything we have to pay.
  • Yep, I have a feeling my health insurance will put up a fit when it comes to my back problems. I had know idea it was that big of a deal until we applied for insurance and the agent said that being on hydrocodone for back pain was going to raise some red flags. I have since found out that most doctors don't want to touch you if you have chronic pain especially if its a workmans comp claim.

    Alot of our clients are doctors of some sort and I am hoping that they can pull some strings and get me in to see a good doctor in the future.

    I just got a letter from Workmans Comp and it said that I was depressed and they didn't cover that but if I wanted to see a shrink they would consider paying for it. I am already seeing one, I wonder if they would start picking up the tab.
  • My sincerest heart felt "I am so sorry". I have now read heard and seen so many people who just absolutely cannot get the treatment that they need because of it. It breaks my heart. I read Worker's Comp in somebody's post and I just cringe because I know how they are being treated.
  • That is frightening that back pain would be held against you. I've never heard of so much bias towards a condition since the HIV virus- really. Renal patients get the treatment too. It's like no one wants to deal with the very sick or debilitated and people are stigmatized by taking pain medicine. And Workmen's Comp isn't a joyride either. If you're on it, people (and docs) are prone to think you're trying to milk it for all its worth. It only takes a few stupid malingerers to ruin the barrel. I couldn't handle knowing that I was being videotaped; nobody likes the feeling of being watched and their privacy invaded. And everything you say recorded in order to catch any discrepancy. No way. Thank goodness I don't have to deal with them.
    I think Workmen's Comp are the ones that need a psych evaluation because they are so messed up and can't figure out that patients with chronic pain feel down because of the pain and also because they have to deal with incompetency.

  • Sadly, I had diabetes before the zyprexa though I did gain 20 lbs in 2 months and slept all the time.I save them only for the really bad manic rides for now.

    I just avoid prozac, of all the ssri's, this one turns me inside out and mean.
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