|I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Aflac. See Disclosure.|
It started with a random sharp pain in my side. My side started to feel itchy, and I couldn't control the urge to scratch, scratch and scratch some more. I wondered if I somehow got poison ivy in the middle of winter. I figured it must just be dry skin, so I lathered on the lotions several times over a couple days trying to get some relief. Then the blisters showed their ugly little faces. At first I thought they were pimples from all the lotions I was using. I called my mom to tell her about it and complain to a listening ear. She looked up my symptoms online and said, "Becky, I think you have shingles." I thought to myself, seriously? As if I needed one more thing on my plate to deal with, and these suckers were painful. Our doctor had recently decided to take a position at a hospital and she left her practice, leaving all her patients high and dry. We were without a doctor, so I did the only logical thing I could do. I went to a convenient care clinic. The visit was easy, the doctor on duty took a passing glance at my side, and get this. He laughed. It was a chuckle really, but still it annoyed me. "Yes", he says, "it's shingles, no big deal." It felt like a very painfully big deal to me at the time. He wrote the prescription, I walked to the desk to checkout and pay my co-pay. I filled the prescription and hoped to start feeling better fast. About 3 weeks later it came in the mail. A bill from the convenient care clinic. What? I had paid our co-pay. I call our insurance to see what was going on. They don't cover convenient care in non-weekend or non-emergency situations. We had to pay the additional $140 out of pocket. Talk about adding insult to injury! My shingles were still giving me a real pain in the side, and now I was being hit where it hurts...in the pocket book.
Let's Get Real.
The thing with illness and injury you can't control when it happens. Obviously if I had a choice of when to have the shingles I would choose..NEVER! Having an illness or injury is out of our control. We eat healthy and exercise and sometimes life just throws you a curve ball. My curve ball happened to have a name. Shingles. Even though we have decent medical coverage, we were caught off guard by the charges from my clinic visit. In my case just not knowing the coverage I had really came back to bite me. I don't think I'm the only one who gets confused when it comes to medical insurance. If you're like me you just don't know how much not knowing can cost you. Aflac is on a mission to help give people like me and you a wake up call to get real. Their new Real Cost Calculator is a cool way to see just how much a lack of coverage could really cost you. I took a look at their free handy tool myself, and these numbers might shock you.
A woman of my age and income could expect to pay out of pocket up to $67,928 if diagnosed with breast cancer. This really hit home for me, since cancer runs in my family. I'm not much of a number cruncher, I really hate numbers actually, but on the other hand. I hate the unknown even more. I try to always be prepared and have a plan. Being caught off guard isn't fun, especially when that means being hit with an unexpected bill.
The Real Cost Calculator takes into account your:
- Family Structure
- Household Income
- Your Age
- Monthly Mortgage or Rent
- Major Medical Coverage
- Medical Severity