Cancer is a very expensive ailment - even with health insurance. I have relatively good health insurance and for the fifth year in a row, I will max out my allowable out of pocket expenses at $5000. That amount really only covers my co-payments and prescription costs. Everything else is additional - travel, parking fees, dentists, eye doctors, etc. And my income has gone down because I don't work full time anymore. I work two part time jobs which get me close to full time hours. Since they are part time, I get no benefits from either. No paid time off, no retirement, etc. If I am not there I do not get paid.
As someone lucky enough to be living with cancer who gets to go to the doctor all the time, my expenses definitely add up. This coming week I have four doctor appointments. Last week I had none - because it was a short week. The week before I had three or four. I probably average around 8 each month. Each usually has a $20 co-pay.And I am not in active treatment - I just have follow ups and other medical issues.
I think this is a side of cancer that is under reported. People with health insurance have hefty bills as well. I think I have good insurance because it has an out of pocket maximum. Many people do not have this benefit and their bills run into the thousands annually.
This morning I received an email announcing a new online webinar on Managing the Costs of Cancer Care on December 8. I am not sure I can go but I have signed up for it and will see about rearranging my schedule if needed. There are also two recorded webinars that I want to listen to soon: Managing the Costs of Recovery and Money Matters: Finding the Resources to Manage Cancer Costs.
Something about the whole thing irks me about this whole thing. I feel like the patient is the pawn in the scam of ridiculously expensive medications, big salaries for someone somewhere, and insurance companies deciding what they will and won't pay for. We can only afford to get cancer if we are rich.