Financial Costs

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

Hi Ben, no idea if the health insurance runs out, or turns into vaporware. But, given my life expectancy, dont think its going to be a problem. And if it is, well, will deal with it when it happens. No idea about the premiums going up either - never even thought of it. Travel insurance is different - anything cancer related is specifically excluded from coverage. BUT - it does cover you if the ship hits an iceberg, near Vietnam. Andrew the oldhippy
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Deceased

Re: Financial Costs

Hi Everyone This has been an interesting read so thought I would contribute. I have been a private patient as I have private health care cover, but I have been treated for most of the time in public hospitals. So most of my costs have just been sent to my health insurer, apart from the $50 per day to a max of $250 hospital charge. (It is now $150 for the first time in any one year and nothing after that!). All of my specialists have either bulk billed me or charged me the medicare amount. So for most of the time I have very little out of pocket expenses. Recently I found a spreadsheet I had done at the end of my first treatment all those years ago. Including pharmacy costs, four days in hospital, lots of various scans over the six month period, weeks of radiotherapy and the initial pathology at the end I was $440.35 out of pocket. Currently my oncologist requests that I be bulk billed for all pathology and radiology. My surgeon who sees me every two months to conduct a minor procedure to keep bits of me working ensures that all my bills either go to medicare or health insurance. So apart from the pharmacy co-payment, which these days with the benefit of a health care card is a lot reduced, I am very little out of pocket. So I quite fervently thank the deity that I am treated in Australia and not North America or Europe. In North America I would be impoverished by now and having to sue my health fund to get treatment paid for, and the treatment wouldn't be available in Europe. Cheers Sailor I would not creep along the coast but steer Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars. George Elliot, Middle March
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

Sailor, thank you for that - its a pretty clear model/explanation of whats happening here. I dont track stuff, but reckon its been OK so far re costs. And I have always been a Neanderthal when it comes to money things anyway. Blind optimism (Cosmic Forces)works, most of the time. And I too am grateful we dont have the American model of health insurance - probably wouldn't still be here if we did! Andrew the oldhippy.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

Sailor, thank you for that - its a pretty clear model/explanation of whats happening here, too. I dont track stuff, but reckon its been OK so far re costs. And I have always been a Neanderthal when it comes to money things anyway. Blind optimism (Cosmic Forces)works, most of the time. And I too am grateful we dont have the American model of health insurance - probably wouldn't still be here if we did! Andrew the oldhippy.
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

ben I have cost my insurance people over $28,000 in the past two years. I can't get back the transaction record for the previous two years on the website but it was even higher as I had more tests, chemicals and specialists in those two years. I would say my insurer is $60,000+ out of pocket thanks to me. Don't mention it. I have not had any indication from them at all that they want to change things. The premiums have gone up of course, but that is an industry wide thing and not related to my circumstances. They will cover whatever is listed as a a claimable item. In all the four years I have only had one test that was not a claimable item. It was not a major one and I can't remember what it was. H
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Super Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

I hope I didn't sound like a whinger in this conversation. I guess my only real complaint is that if you are in hospital an endless number of tests would cost you nothing but out of hospital it's different. The MRIs cannot be claimed through health funds or Medicare. I know we are lucky in this country as the situation in many others is far worse.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

Of course your didn't sound like a whinger! I think the messages from most people here indicate that we are all having our tests covered by Medicare or a health fund, both as an inpatient and outpatient. For example, I have yet to stay in the hospital but have had a bunch of CTs, PETs, MRIs, genetic testing and radiochemotherapy - all as an outpatient. I haven't had to pay for any of it. I wonder why you are being treated differently? Maybe you could give the group some more info about the types of tests you have had to pay for and the types of tests you have not. I checked your original question and it was about medications, have those been the biggest cost for you so far? Ben
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

My husband has private cover in a private hospital and has only had to pay small amounts like $90 out of pocket for scans and small amounts every few months for the oncologist.As he now has a pension card I have been told scans will be bulk billed. The only problem we have is he is having peritoneal drains now every few weeks and as he is classed as an inpatient and the ultrasound people charge 4 times the schedule fee and so we are out of pocket $270 each time. This wasn't such a problem when it was 3 months between drains but it is now down to 2 weeks. I did ask the diagnostic centre if they could review the charges but they said as it was inpatient that was what they charge. It has been suggested we book in as a public patient as it is the same site and uses the same diagnostic facilities. Its not that I am complaining about the care as it has been excellent but after paying for private health and then still having to outlay more every 2 weeks than a public patient seems unfair to me.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

My tests and hospital accomodation are covered as a private patient when in hospital (with an excess of $200.00 per year). However out of hospital the ultrasound tests are $240.00 each and I only get about $100 back from Medicare and cannot claim these through my Private Health Fund. My surgeons also don't bulk bill for outpatients and they are $180.00 per visit. Thankfully my chemo treatment was covered. The only reason I keep a record is that if you have in excess of $1500 out of pocket medical expenses each year you can claim 20% of that back with your tax.
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Super Contributor

Re: Financial Costs

I agree that it is unfair and usually as an in-patient scans are covered by health funds, I thought.
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