First there is the whammy of you have cancer, followed by many more whammies including hair loss, surgeries, chemotherapy, and then finally money. You cut back on work during treatment and the bills get bigger. And cancer bills aren't little. A chemo infusion or surgery might hit 5 digits for each one. Your insurance covers some of it but there is always your portion. And the bills keep coming.
Barbara, over at Let Life Happen blogged about an interesting option on how to fix cancer costs by charging by patient instead of by each treatment. Cure Magazine recently ran an article on medical bankruptcy fears during cancer. (And if you have cancer and don't read Cure Magazine, you are missing out big time.)
Cancer is stressful enough without having to worry about money as well. I personally think that if you get cancer, you deserve a financial fairy godmother to swoop in and take care of you during treatment. You shouldn't have to worry about bills, cleaning your house, doing laundry, taking the car to the garage, or standing in line anywhere. That would be nice - but really not likely.
So if we aren't going to get financial fairy godmothers, I think we need to start focusing on changing the medical system to help reduce the financial worries when diagnosed with any major illness. Doesn't it seem illogical that the sickest people get the biggest bills? They are most likely not to be able to work full time and earn the big bucks. They get all the expenses and are least able to pay.
I have a friend with MS who used to have a great career. Now she writes articles for a local paper and lives on social security. I used to work full time and now I struggle with 15 hours a week with RA and fibromyalgia. And I get giant medical bills. This year so far, I have already hit $2500 in copays. And its only April.
Let's fix the system and stop causing medical bankruptcies.