A Question for Iryss, Your Wealth Care Specialist
Financial challenges following a chronic illness diagnosis can bubble up pretty quickly. It’s not surprising. On average an individual with a chronic illness in America pays 5x for more for healthcare than a healthy person. That means a worker with a chronic illness will pay $4,800 more per year for healthcare compared to a healthy coworker. That’s as much as we’re all paying right now for gasoline per year.
Here Are The Best Ways to Keep Costs Down:
- Select your Health Insurance Very Carefully Post-diagnosis
This is the most important decision that you make every year regarding your healthcare costs. It also has a huge influence when switching employers; the wrong selection can cost you thousands of dollars a year. Ask anyone who has made this mistake how financially painful it is to get it wrong.
Fortunately, we all have resources to help us make the right choice and find a plan that will have the lowest out-of-pocket costs throughout the year:
- Your insurance companies’ plan comparison tools
- Your employer’s benefit broker
- Your chronic disease association’s patient navigators
- Compare and Negotiate Prices Wherever and Whenever You Can
Beyond the cost of your health insurance premiums, your out-of-pocket medical costs are driven by the copays and deductibles you pay on the 3 D’s and you have more control over their cost than you might know:
Doctors might be willing to negotiate their bills, especially if you’re willing to pay in full up front or in cash. If you have not yet met your out-of-pocket maximum, contact the office before your next appointment and ask about discounts that might be available. You won’t know if you don’t ask.
Diagnostic tests can have very different costs at different labs around town; it pays to shop around. Fortunately, many health insurers make this easier with comparison tools right on their website and recently released data will make it easier for health technology companies to develop consumer friendly applications to inform you about your options. For example, shopping around for an MRI can save you 50% or more.
Drug costs are nearly impossible to bring down with negotiation or shopping around, but there are other solutions. Co-pay assistance and prescription drug discount programs might help you here.
A Financial Platform For People with Chronic Illness Built By People With Chronic Illness
It’s easy to feel helpless, anxious, or overwhelmed after being diagnosed with a chronic disease. Know that there is a trusted, reliable place to turn for the financial questions in front of you. At Iryss, we believe that it’s just as important to protect your financial health as your physical health. Sign up for early-access and benefit from exclusive discounts and benefits.