I'm one of those young guys not yet on Medicare.
Between my PCa, eye issues, and my wife's breast cancer we have very significant expenses. Our health insurance costs about $1,200 per month and we have a $7,000 deductible. We have no dental or vision insurance. We normally meet our deductible by the 10th of January each year. Overall our out of pocket costs have been about $25,000 each year. When we go on Medicare in the next two years I figure our costs will decrease significantly, as Jim points out.
The only good news recently is that we were able to renew our non-compliant insurance in September and had no rate increase. Had we waited until the end of the year to renew the increase would likely be about 12%.
Regarding the way things are charged, my wife has a monthly shot of Faslodex. When her oncologist's practice was independent they charged about $3,500 and were reimbursed about $2,200 per shot. A year ago one of the large hospitals bought the practice and now bills the shot at over $8,000 and gets reimbursed about $6,600 per shot. Same doctor, same nurse, same shot, same office. Only difference is that a hospital can bill at a higher rate than a non-hospital.
PSA 59 on 8-26-2010 age 60. Biopsy 9-8-2010 12/12 positive, 20-80% involved, PNI in 3 cores, G 3+3,3+4,and 4+3=G7, T2b.
Eligard and Jalyn started on 10-7-2010. IMRT to prostate and lymph nodes started on 11-8-2010, HDR Brachytherapy December 6 and 13, 2010.
PSA < .1 and Testosterone less than 3 since February 2011