Saturday, January 06, 2007

How Much Are You Willing To Pay to Be Pain Free?

That is the question of the day. I have a pain management appointment on the 18th, but today Mike asked me if I could change the appointment and move it til med-February. I balked because, seriously, the pain came back after about 1 1/2 weeks after treatment, as was expecte, but we discussed management every six weeks for several sessions and it should get better as we continue treatment.

Anyway, I balked and asked why? (wouldn't you?). Well it seems that it's an insurance issue. Here's the catch-Mike can start our new insurance, which isn't as good as the old, but better than I expected. The drug card is a little more expensive (no more 90 day supplies, etc), still $20 a script for most scripts, doctor visits the same, hospital stays we would now have a co-pay per day (but hopefully we won't need that, right?)-anyway the catch is that we will need a month to kind of mesh into the system, get our new cards and this is the month. Now I could keep the appointment, but if I do, then Mike will have to COBRA the insurance for *gasp* $1,300 for January or I can wait and, since he's working for himself will be paying for it anyway, but because it's not as great a plan, will cost less, a lot less. So, is it worth $1,300 for the pain management injections and acupuncture? No, not to me. Although I have said I would have given anything to be pain free, $1,300 is a lot of money for the little pain. I plan to call to see how much without insurance the appointment will be, but I recall it being around $250-gah, can I wait a month to save $250? Probably. Let's be honest, I went over a year with the pain and survived. The only hump is now I have to get all new referrals, contact the primary with the new insurance info, etc. Not complaining, mind you, I am grateful to have insurance after years of not having insurance coverage before I met and married Mike-NOT COMPLAINING (I had to repeat this as my resolution is no complaining). It just looks like the first session was a trial session and we start over with pain management. At least it's the same doctor.


Anonymous said...

You know, I have a Google account, but I can't for the life of me remember what my username and password is. I'm going to figure it out, so next time I won't have to be anonymous.
I bet it was hard for Mike to have to ask you wait until next month, but I can see your point about not wanting to spend that much money. I guess it's better to start over now rather than in the middle of treatment. None of us can know the pain you've endured for so long, and I'm sorry that you have to wait.

Deneen said...

It's not the end of the world for me. In the state of NJ, you have two months to decide to COBRA or not, so if something comes up we can and if not, just start with a insurance coverage plan on 2/01. It'll just prolong the amount of treatments I need (kinda like the first one was just a test run). At least we'll have the coverage and are able to get insurance.

Kathy said...

If you can, avoid COBRA at all costs, because it took MONTHS to actually get my coverage straightened out. I was covered (and paying thru the nose for that coverage) but it took from Aug to Oct to get it straight for the doctors, and Dec for for the pharmacy benefits to be correct (and a refund sent to me). Luckily my doctors worked with me, and waited for payment.

naomi said...

I think I'd call and see how much it is without insurance. Lots of times the docs are willing to cut you a bit of a break if they know you'll be back after the insurance kicks in.
Good luck ! Hope the pain isn't too bad for you.

Donna Lynn said...

I can understand your dilemma. I suffered a severe back/neck injury a few years ago and had to see a Pain Mgt Specialist as well. Thank goodness it was covered under workers comp. I have never been in that kind of pain before in my life and hope I never am again. If not for workers comp, I would have sold all my possesions to pay for treatment if it helped.

Cobra isn't great either. It is hard to get everything working like it's supposed to, not to mention really expensive.

I hope you feel better soon!

Jaye said...

It's a tough decision, I'll admit it. If I were in your shoes I certainly wouldn't want to pay $1300. for one month, BUT I also would not want to be without insurance for my family, either. It's not just me, it's the entire family, because unfortunately we've come to expect the unexpected with healthcare over the years and the one time that we would be without insurance would be the time we'd end up needing it for something major, you know?

Have you checked with your insurance agent to see if you can get some temporary coverage for a month for major medical, at the very minimum, just in case? It obviously wouldn't cover office visits and scripts, but at least you would have coverage in the event of an unexpected (and hopefully unlikely!) hospital stay in the interim. If this is a more viable solution to being uninsured, then I'd still keep the appointment if you can swing it financially.

Like Naomi said, sometimes docs will work with you to cut you a bit of a break when you're really needing it.

Good luck!

Sheila said...

Sorry to hear you're in pain and it would be hard for me to cough up that kind of money for one month of insurance.. but definitely call to see how much the visit would cost w/o insurance.

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