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GINA, Coverage and Me Update November 5, 2009

Posted by Admin in Cancer, Health Insurance, Money.
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Wow! I opened an innocuous, slim envelope from my insurance company yesterday-an Explanation of Benefits or EOB. My DNA test from September to discern whether I have the  (Breast Cancer) BRCA mutations is covered in full! No more funds out of pocket! (search under DNA or GINA for previous posts)

I could have been liable for up to $350, and the blood test bill was  $3120. After a provider “adjustment”, the insurance company will pay them $2964.00.

No deductible, no co-insurance, only the two co-pays for the office visits of $40.

If you are going to have a system that keeps cancer patients alive long enough to be survivors, then these follow-up procedures should be covered (with appropriate privacy for the patient) in order to practice further early detection and possibly even prevention.

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I waited eleven years for this test.

Relief is spelled GINA!


Costs of Healthy Living Hit Women Harder October 11, 2009

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Women.
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Last May, another brick in the wall of reasons for health care reform was fired in the oven. The clay for this brick came from the Commonwealth Fund, a research fund working on creating a new health system.

Women at Risk: Why Women are Forgoing Needed Health Care by 3 Commonwealth Fund researchers was released in May of 2009. Based on 2007 data, the numbers may be even worse now. In an earlier post  I also alluded to a different study showing that women spend more money on their health over their lifetimes than men. (will repost that when I find it!)

The Commonwealth study high points are:

  • 52 percent of women had any one of four problems getting needed health care because of cost compared to 39 percent of men: did not fill a prescription; did not see a specialist when needed; skipped a recommended medical test, treatment, or follow-up; or had a medical problem but did not visit a doctor or clinic.
  • 45 percent of women accrued medical debt or reported problems with medical bills in 2007, compared to 36 percent of men.
  • Women were also more likely to skip tests and screenings: almost half of women (45%) delayed or did not receive a cancer screening or dental care because of costs, compared to 36 percent of men.

If I had only skipped some of those visits and tests…No, that is not my situation yet.

Do you know how cool it is for a cancer survivor to be given a ten year pass-as I feel that I got with the recent “clean” colonoscopy results? Couldn’t have skipped that test, no sirreebob.

This is the sentence in the news release that captures it all for me:

“Women are more affected by high health care costs because they have lower average incomes but higher out-of-pocket health costs than men, and use the health care system more frequently.”

Testimony before Congress on this subject may come from celebrities highlighting the increase in cost for all patients.

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September Blog Math October 1, 2009

Posted by Admin in Blog Math, Diary, Money.
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Yesterday was the end of the month.   This blog is not yet one month old, so the numbers for September will not include the days prior to the First Post.

Expenses this week: Massage (for lymphedema) co-pay $30.00

Expenses for the life of the blog(less than 30 days): $680.68

Cost of worry, uncertainty, and bill-juggling (to paraphrase a national commercial) : Priceless!

Percentage of monthly income: Not  a single digit number!

Prediction for next month: Flat (did you know flat is the new up?)

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