Cystic fibrosis (CF) treatment is a life-long commitment -- and an expensive one at that. If you are wondering how you will ever be able to keep your head above water without jeopardizing treatment, you are not alone. The good news is that you can do some things to help you stay afloat financially. So what’s the secret to saving money on cystic fibrosis treatment? You’ll need to get to know your resources, know which corners you can cut, and which corners you can’t.
Things You Can Do to Save Money
- Pay Your Medical Bills with Tax-Free Money
- Avoid Outrageous Medical Bills
- Save Money on Prescriptions
- Don’t Use Second-Hand Equipment
- Don’t Skip Treatments or Medications
Find out if your employer offers a health care flexible spending account (FSA) as part of your benefit package -- most medium and large size companies do. An FSA allows you to set aside a certain amount of your paycheck to cover medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance. Your FSA contribution is deducted from your pay before taxes, so the money in your account is always tax-free. Learn more about flexible spending accounts from Jeremy Vohwinkle, About.com Guide to Financial Planning.
Don’t be caught by surprise. Make sure you have a good, comprehensive health insurance policy, and know the details of your plan’s coverage. If you don’t have health insurance, you will need to get it as soon as possible. Don’t know where to find coverage? Explore some health insurance options that may be available to you.
Many commonly prescribed CF medications are extremely expensive. Some of them cost thousands of dollars for a month’s supply, and most of them do not have a generic version available. Consequently, medications account for the biggest chunk of money that you’ll spend on CF treatment. You can save money on medications by ordering them from the CF Services Pharmacy. You also might be able to get help paying for medications by participating in one of the many patient assistance programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.
Things You Should Never Do to Save Money
Even if it looks good as new, using second-hand equipment could be a recipe for disaster. Why? Because used equipment can be harboring contagious organisms or dust that can be harmful to people with cystic fibrosis. You also cannot be sure that second-hand equipment is working properly, and you won’t have support from the vendor if something goes wrong.
Missing even one dose of medication, or one airway clearance treatment, can cause problems. If you miss enough of them, you can cause irreversible damage to your lungs. If you are afraid you may not be able to follow your treatment plan because of finances, try to access some of the resources I mentioned in the section above. If you’re still unable to find the help you need, let your CF Center team know. They may be aware of local resources that can help you.