Endometriosis : An Economic Machine

meme with Fry from Futurama holding up money. Text reads Shut up and take my money!

There are (at best guess) 176 million people born with a uterus worldwide who suffer from Endometriosis.  And it’s estimated that 5 million in the United States have Endometriosis.  1 in 10 supposedly have, or will have, this disease.  One. In. Ten.

An incurable, recurring disease which causes pain and infertility, among many other symptoms.  A revolving door disease which the “Golden Standard” of treatment is either constant prescription medications, or surgery, or both.  And, once removed, it will more than likely grow back and cause the same pain and symptoms, sometimes much worse than before.  And the only tried and true way to diagnosis the disease with with surgery!

So one thing hit me today.  This disease is a driving economic force!  What costs are associated with Endometriosis? As I live in the USA, my curiosity was toward the United States prices.  If you live elsewhere and are curious, I encourage you to figure this out.  For all of you living in the States, let’s find out together!

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Surgery – What if I can’t afford it?

Person writing in a checkbook

 So I was hit in the face with an astronomical Estimate of Benefits from my insurance carrier after my June 30, 2014, surgery.  The breakdown was: surgery, anesthesiology, pathology, etc. was approximately $71,000! (Insert double-take here) After the insurance company applied their deductions and waivers, the remaining bill was $13,000.  The insurance paid for a little over $12,000 of that bill and my my out-of-pocket costs were $800.  Which I readily paid!  (It really is a depressing sign of the inflated costs of American healthcare)

BUT what happens if you need a robotic laparoscopic excision surgery for Endometriosis and you cannot afford the hefty bill?  It’s a question I’m concerned about given the fact that women with Endometriosis routinely require multiple excision surgeries.  What happens if my insurance denies the next one? Or my insurance plan changes? Or I suddenly become unemployed?

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