44,461 Reasons


Back from vacation and in the pile of mail was a statement from Kaiser. I have 44,461 reasons to be thankful for health insurance. That’s the cost of my recent Rituxan chemotherapy. (It makes one want to pronounce the word, cheMOTHERapy!)

Kaiser paid $23,410 to settle the bill and my co-pay was $40. I don’t know how people without insurance do it—perhaps they don’t. Making my $1,200 monthly insurance premiums isn’t easy but where else could I get such a great ROI!

I trust it’s worth it. Rituximab, aka Rituxan, has dramatically improved the outcomes for B-cell lymphoma patients. It is so effective that some oncologists feel it’s tantamount to malpractice not to use Rituxan. However, it can cause serious side effects, including stomach and bowel problems.

Since I’ve been having stomach problems I will be going in tomorrow for an EGD, which stands for Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. It is also called an upper endoscopy.

An EGD procedure is performed to look for any problems in your upper digestive tract. To start an EGD, the doctor will spray a numbing medication into the back of your throat, insert an endoscope (a bendable tube that acts as a camera), and then begin examining your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine for any growths or foreign bodies. If problems are found, the endoscope may also be used to treat them.

I have no idea how much this medical procedure will cost; I only hope it helps find the problem.

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3 thoughts on “44,461 Reasons

  1. Just checking in on you again, as I do every other month or so :o) When my husband passed 18mos ago from NHL I got a bill from UCSF that came in a small BOX!!!! It was over 1.7 million dollars for 2 mos in the hospital….My co-pay…$100. Thank the good Lord for my work insurance. Those that don’t get sick pay for those that do. What stinks is that those without insurance pay full price….insurance will only pay so much and the hospital has to take it. At least we had something!! It was bad enough to lose him at 39 without having to go bankrupt too!!!

  2. Our entire health system is screwed up. I was going to use another adjective but thought I better keep it clean. My best friend and I were talking a week ago about is upcoming next chemo, which would make number five. I asked him about case studies on what they are giving him every two weeks. They wanted to excelerate his program as he has stage 3c colon cancer. To make a long story short the doctors could not support the medicine they were putting in his body with any case studies or for the matter any studies. My friend did not take his chemo and is done with his treatment. He will die and so will we all but let’s do it with dignity. He said he didn’t want his kids to see him die in a puddle of droll. He told me the method he wil use to kill himself when the time is right in his mind. I support him 100%. His bill so far is well over 100k and it was all to make the drug companies and doctors rich. It reminds of this eighty five year old woman who was in intensive care and was leaving us in a few day’s. She had 25 specialist and one even did a pap smear on her just in case she had a venereal disease (std) she picked up in the intensive care ward. This is typical of what goes on in our system. I had surgery yesterday and was told I would have to have two surgery’s but I told them to do it all in one, which they did. I wonder how much money I saved the insurance companies and how much I minimized my chance of catching some ungodly infection had I have remained in the hospital as the doctors wanted me to. This note is sent from my home office and I just got back from the gas station.

    Shalom to you all

    1. Thanks for sharing, Aaron. I hope your own medical procedures go well and that you are able to find some physical relief. You should at least get your money’s worth!

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