The treatment costs of dealing with endometriosis can be a huge burden for some women. This burden is more relevant for women living in the US where there is no state health care system provided by the government.
This financial burden can also be compounded for women who are so debilitated that they are unable to work. This probably means they have no insurance cover at all!
The actual treatment costs for this disease can vary hugely depending on the type of treatment. The cost of drug treatment alone can mount up over months; this is without paying for consultation time, tests and other fees that can creep in.
The cost of surgical treatment usually costs in the range of a few thousand dollars. On top of this you will need to add the cost of an anaesthetist and your stay in hospital.
Even if you do have insurance, there may be clauses in the policy that will exclude vital needs for your treatment costs. There are some insurance companies who will not cover the cost of any treatment for gynaecological problems, including endometriosis for the first year.
This means a woman who suspects she may have endometriosis would not be covered by insurance to get a confirmed diagnosis with a laparoscopy.
Here are a few suggestions ....
Get a clear understanding of your insurance policy -
Talk to your companies insurance representative at work if you are still in work. Review your coverage choices and policy benefits. Make sure you understand what your policy covers.
Ask how you submit a claim, ask which procedures will be covered, what are the provisions for surgery including - emergency hospitalisation and the cost of staying in hospital. Ask about prescription costs and disability coverage. Be sure to ask about the ‘grey areas’ contained in your policy. If your policies are inadequate it may be worth getting additional coverage.
Federal Programs -
There are Federal programs that can provide assistance. It can be a lengthy application process, but once you are approved, you can receive coverage that will help. Ask your local health services office about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance.
Get advice from an Accountant -
Find out if you can take out-of-pocket expenses as a deductible on your tax return. This is particularly helpful for those who travel out of State to seek treatment with an Endometriosis specialist. Ask your tax adviser if this is an option for you.
Sliding Fee Scales -
Some physicians still actually work with fee scales and payment plans to assist their patients. Ask your doctor about lowering the costs of your office visits and payment plans for visits, test, procedures etc.
Another way to reduce physician fees - ask if your doctor does clinic and/or teaching hospital coverage. This way you can get to see them in an alternative setting and have your insurance accepted ( or be eligible for sliding fees if you do not have insurance coverage at all).
Generic drug costs -
Are you eligible for the generic version of your prescription, or must you have the brand name? Ask your doctor and pharmacist if your prescriptions can be filled with the lower cost generic version. (In some instances, this is not possible because the brand names are more effective than their generic counterpart).