Thursday, February 26, 2004

The cost of chronic illness, 2003 edition.... 

...while I was gathering documentation on medical expenses for my 2003 tax return, I crunched a few numbers to see what I'd spent on just myself to maintain my health. Here's what I came up with. This is for one year, with insurance, American dollars. I've noted which figures are out of pocket (not covered by insurance) and which are simply co-pays (covered by insurance):

Medication (mostly co-pays): $1635
Labs, diagnostics (co-pays): $345
Doctors/hospitals (some co-pays, some out of pocket): $3238
Allergy shots (co-pays): $520
Supplements/gluten-free foods (out of pocket): $1132

Total for 2003: $6870

If I throw in the cost of my insurance, I'm using about 20% of my pay on my health! And I'm one of the lucky ones who has health care coverage. Without it, I wouldn't be able to afford my medication, much less anything else. I'm glad there is an effort being made to help senior citizens with their costs, but what about the poor souls with chronic illness who don't have insurance? They might be middle class like I am, but the cost of their care puts them right in the poor house! I guess I really should count my blessings, come to think of it.

Pain level: 8
Fatigue level: 10

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