The Cost of Being Sick

I am fortunate to have comprehensive health insurance. The table below is what it would cost me to stay alive and functioning without insurance.

This is the cash price of my medical expenses for a year. A good year. Figures are rounded but based upon explanation of benefits (EoBs) for past procedures, medications, etc.

I have excluded the costs of living in a safe apartment, full of safe furniture, with utilities turned on, to be able to care for myself. I have also excluded the costs of skilled nursing that I do for myself (which saves about $250 a DAY).

I have chosen to ignore the fact that the stress of not having insurance would significantly trigger my disease, resulting in higher expenses. I have chosen to ignore this because it would also likely kill me so my expenses would drop off pretty quickly.

If I lost my insurance, used every bit of money, and sold everything I own, I could pay for less than a month of care.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff. I’ll add them in when I think of them.

Item Cost Frequency Total per year
Standard meds (cetirizine, ranitidine, cromolyn, ketorolac, ketotifen, levothyroxine, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, turmeric, prednisone, trimethobenzamide, ondansetron, metoclopramide, montelukast, gabapentin, fluticasone, glycerin, lidocaine jelly, and pain meds) $1,527 Monthly $18,324
IV meds (IV Benadryl, IV Pepcid, IV Solu-Medrol, 5% Dextrose in Lactated Ringer’s ) $1,600 Monthly $19,200
Specialty injectable meds (Enbrel, Xolair) $6,709 Monthly $80,508
Compounded medications $110 Monthly $1,320
As needed meds $85 Monthly $1,020
Epipens $650 (2 pack) Three times a year $1,950
Office appointments (routine) $980 (4/month) Monthly $11,760
Office appointments (specialty, procedure) $1,260 (2/month) Monthly $15,120
Surgical procedures (scopes, etc) $3,000 Twice a year $6,000
Lab work $1,000 (4/month) Monthly $12,000
Skilled nursing care $1,000 (4/month) Monthly $12,000
Central line supplies $800 (4/month) Monthly $9,600
Other medical supplies $150 Monthly $1,800
Imaging studies $1,800 Four times a year $7,200
ER Visits $4,400 Twice a year $8,800
Hospitalization $6,850 (per night) 7 nights a year $47,950
Major surgery $29,000 Once every other year $14,500
Ambulance $650 Twice a year $1,300
Dentist $325 Twice a year $650
Safe foods $450 Monthly $5,400
Transportation (Uber, taxis, gas) $300 Monthly $3,600
Phone (to schedule appointments, receive results, communicate about medical issues) $80 Monthly $960
Total     $280,962