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The Cost of Breast Cancer

October 20, 2010

For the first time since this ridiculousness began (back in January) I took a close look at the  Explanation of Benefits on-line at my insurance company’s website. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t received any EOBs from the oncologist’s office.

Thank god for insurance because here’s just some of what was billed on my behalf…

The bi-lateral mastectomy – over $10,000

The hospital stay (2 nights) – over $19,000

Each one of the chemo days at the oncologist’s office – over $9,000. That’s $54,000 for the 6 infusions!

This doesn’t include the needle biopsies, ultrasounds, x-rays, MRIs, physical therapies, next week’s surgery, and more more more!

I can’t imagine what I’d do if we didn’t have insurance!

Well, I can imagine, but it wouldn’t be good.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicki permalink
    October 21, 2010 12:47 am

    What’s even more ridiculous is that what is actually paid by the insurance companies is only a fraction of what is actually billed by the providers…doesn’t make sense to me.

    • October 21, 2010 4:35 am

      That’s so true, Nicki. What insurance “allowed” on the $9,000 infusion days was around $3,000. I’m going to start trying that around the town. At the grocery store, when the total comes to $175, I’m going to tell them that I’m only going to allow them to bill me $125!

  2. October 21, 2010 6:24 am

    I never received any explanation of benefits, but I wasn’t worried. I was playing a lot of money for my own insurance at that time, using my social security (even though I was still working) and my IRA. It was costing me about $12,000 a year (and that was just for me).

    But it paid for just about everything (maybe there was a $10 co-pay whenever I visited the doctor). As bitter as I was about losing benefits from any employer, I had to be grateful.

  3. Jean permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:10 am

    This is a prime example of why we need health care reform. No woman should have to die from breast cancer in America in 2010 because of $$. The same way no child should suffer from common illnesses because their parents can’t afford immunizations or preventative care.

    The (considerable amount of taxes) that I pay go for all sorts of garbage (can you say UNITED NATIONS???? GAH!!!!) that I disagree with. Health care and education is what I want to support. And basic services – police, fire, infrastructure building and maintenance.

    Don’t get me started…

    Love you, Kathy! Hugs all around.

  4. October 21, 2010 9:49 am

    My broken ankle was about $30K, your surgery had to be way more than that!

  5. dakotagirl permalink
    October 21, 2010 10:04 am

    It’s a good thing people without insurance never get cancer. Right…….

  6. October 21, 2010 10:59 am

    I look at how much I was covered by my insurance – all of it. All of them: surgeon, hospital, oncologist, chemo treatments, and radiation cost me nothing.

    I know those here who don’t have insurance wait longer than the entire time of my treatment before they are even seen. What a shame.

  7. October 21, 2010 1:34 pm

    My insurance is truly crap. However, it is insurance. At least it helps out. I just can’t get seriously ill.

  8. kris (lower case) permalink
    October 21, 2010 9:02 pm

    well you know…if you don’t have health insurance and you get sick it is your own fault…and you probably did something to deserve it…and you probably aren’t like a real imporatant person or anything so if you die it won’t really matter… at least that is the impression i get from listening to all the bullsh*t about repelling healthcare reform… and how we don’t need to reform our system because we don’t really have a problem…

  9. October 21, 2010 11:05 pm

    What surgery are you having? I thought you were done.

  10. mo from ne permalink
    October 25, 2010 8:26 pm

    The total for my care for a two month hospital stay was about $200,000. That didn’t include the surgery, surgeons, or specialists. My radiation was about $5000 a shot and I had to pay 20% of all of it that my ‘good’ insurance didn’t cover. I worked for two years at an extra job to finish paying the bills. Right now I have a bunch of bills left over from my son’s sudden onset kidney failure because of a defect in the tube that runs from his kidney to his bladder. Two days of hospitalization, three outpatient surgeries, about $3000 not covered by insurance. I had planned on working retail over Christmas this year to make the cash to pay off those bills I don’t think I will be able to do this because it looks like I will have to go back for more treatment. I am doing the best I can to work things out for a payment plan for my son’s expenses and now my own but it’s frustrating. I get finished paying for one illness and another one comes up.

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