Financial Burdens

The burdens that we bare when a loved one suffers a stroke are many. We can be overwhelmed physically, mentally, and emotionally. The financial consequences can be disastrous and rob you of all that you have spent years working for. We have a few things that you can do that may be helpful.

Thomas

5/22/20243 min read

It is hard enough to deal with the physical and emotional stress when a loved one suffers a stroke. The financial side of things only makes matters worse! We were fortunate enough to have pretty good insurance and I highly recommend that if you don't have good insurance, then find a way to get it.

We both have Medicare and supplement insurance or what is known as gap insurance. Medicare paid eighty percent of Diana's medical bills. Our supplement insurance picked up the other twenty percent. I am so thankful that we had that. Her life flight trip to OSU cost $55,000 alone. Had we not had the gap insurance, we would have had to pay $11,000 of that.

I do not know how much the bill for the 10 day stay in ICU at OSU was. I shudder to even think about it. After she was released from OSU she was transported to a rehabilitation facility, where she stayed for one hundred days. Again, I cannot tell you what the costs of this actually was because our insurance picked up the entire bill. We would have had to pay twenty percent of all of this without the gap insurance.

Since she has been home, she has had numerous visits to a number of doctors such as a cardiologist and a neurologist, and of course regular visits to our family doctor. Our cost on these is just our copay which runs either $20 or $50.

Now, on top of the medical bills, you get the cost of all the things you need at home. We had to convert a bedroom into a bathroom since our bathroom was upstairs. I did most of the work with some help from our son and our son in law, Robert. Our daughter, Tammy, hired some guy to install the shower but as you would expect he never finished it. I think our out of pocket on this was somewhere around $4,000.

Now we had to acquire some special equipment like a hospital bed, bedside stand, a walker, a wheelchair, and hand rails for the commode. We were able to purchase a used Zoomer electric wheelchair for $600 and that has been a wonderful help. We also purchased a handicap accessible Van to use to get Diana to appointments and anywhere else she needs to go. I found a decent used one for $10,000.

Then there are all the little things that she needed. Adult diapers are not cheap. Due to having to change her five and six times a night, I elected to invest in a Purewick catheter system. This outfit is somewhat pricey but it means that we both get to sleep through the night. I recommend it if you can afford it.

Other things that we have to buy out of pocket include things like special creams, bed pads, adult wipes, pain relievers. I also elected to purchase some things to help with Diana's rehabilitation. Things like small dumbbells and a step to practice stepping up on. Another item that we purchased for rehab is a Fitmi outfit. This system is designed to help with physical therapy by doing repetitious motions. For us the verdict is still out as far as how much this is helping her. It too was a bit on the pricey side but if it does the job it would be worth it.

person holding brown leather bifold wallet
person holding brown leather bifold wallet

Financial Assistance

One of the biggest expenses that we have run into is the price of her medications. Diana is on a drug called Eliquis. Without insurance this prescription cost more than $10 per pill. Diana takes two per day. Her drug plan is not very helpful with this medication for some reason. She also is on a number of other medications including insulin. While our insurance has been pretty good up to this point, the drug costs have now gotten unaffordable.

I have recently attempted to apply for special help with this through medicaid but was turned down. They told me that our income is too high and that we have too many liquid resources. I am still trying to figure out just what these resources are. I closed out my 401K and used the money to pay off our Jeep and spent the rest on some other debts. I sold our car and spent that money toward credit card debt. I now have literally nothing in the bank and our income is pretty dismal.

I will update this article when I am able to figure out what is going on.