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Unread 04-10-2002, 10:54 PM
No Health Insurance

Hello, I'm new I'm *so* new that the possibility of needing surgery only arose last Friday, so I'm still getting my bearings and trying not to panic about the whole thing. Briefly, I'm 36, never been pregnant, and I started having extremely painful (morphine-resistant) cramps back in December. I finally went to a gyn last week hoping to find some relief. Instead, I found out I had "tons" of intramural fibroids and one very large pendunculated submucosal fibroid -- I've had three ultrasounds in the past week and they all seem to suggest that my problems are fibroid-related.

Unfortunately, I don't have any health insurance. I've spent almost $500 in the last week on the gyn and the ultrasounds, and can only imagine what further treatment might cost. In some ways, no insurance gives me the freedom to choose almost any doctor I wish and to pursue treatment options immediately without referrals or pre-approval. On the other hand, wow, something like a hysterectomy is going to cost a fortune, right? Has anyone here gone through the surgery process without health insurance?

Btw -- I will have a consultation with the gyn in two days to discuss treatment options, so I'm not trying to jump the gun with talk of "surgery". However, I've read enough to realize that most of my options will be surgical in nature, and if I'm paying for it out of my own pocket, I want them to fix it properly the first time and not turn it into multiple procedures. I don't think my nerves could take more than one surgery anyway!
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Unread 04-11-2002, 05:37 AM
No Health Insurance

I had my surgery last June. If I recall correctly, the doctor charged $3500 for the surgery. I cannot recall hospital charges. I spent 3 nights in the hospital.
Unread 04-11-2002, 05:52 AM
No Health Insurance

My heart goes out to you, Mudpuppy. You might see if you qualify for Medical Assistance from the state in lieu of insurance. My hospital costs were around $3000 and the doc charged about $2500. You might also see if there are docs who will give you a break with no insurance. I did have one doctor in the past who did that. Let us know how it turns out for you.
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Unread 04-11-2002, 05:52 AM
No Health Insurance

Hello Mudpuppy,
I don't know what type of hysterectomy your dr may be talking about for you. I just had a TVH and I just received my hospital bill.
I was in the hospital 28 hours and my bill at the hospital was 8399.28. I still have not received the dr's bill yet.
Christie Cantrell
Unread 04-11-2002, 06:35 AM
No Health Insurance

I had an HMO, so I only had to pay the $100 copay, but the total of all the hospital and doctors charges (I had two drs. because of the bladder procedure) was about $20,000. Most of it was the hysterectomy, only about $2500 for the urologist. I stayed in the hospital 3 nights and had no complications.
Unread 04-11-2002, 06:38 AM
Shop around

As you can see, costs vary widely. Docs and hospitals should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate on what it will cost you. Tell them you have no insurance and ask if they have any programs for people in your situation. They may know of alternative financial resourses.
Unread 04-11-2002, 07:03 AM
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I was in the hospital 2 days, and just last night received more Blue Cross Statements regarding benefits paid out - I'm near $15,000 for the whole thing. Dr charged $3700, hospital was about $9000, then all the tests and lab work etc keeps pouring in.
Unread 04-11-2002, 07:05 AM
No Health Insurance

Thanks for the ballpark figures -- they're about what I expected to see, but again, I'll know more when I talk to my doctor tomorrow about what sort of surgery he recommends. I guess then he can tell me what his charges will be. I like him, he has a good reputation, and is supposed to have years of training and teaching experience in laparoscopic surgery, so I think he's a keeper.

I should have mentioned in my original post that I'm in immigrant limbo right now -- not an illegal alien but also not a legal resident. I'm on a 2+ year long US immigration waiting list called "The LIFE Act" that allows me to remain in this country and live with my partner, but I'm not allowed to work and I'm also not allowed to use any social programs such as Medicaid, etc. Not being a legal resident also denies me the ability to buy health insurance -- none of the insurance companies will cover me until my Green Card is issued. Just an fyi in case anyone thinks I've been lax in exploring my healthcare options... fortunately or unfortunately, I've just had to learn to pay cash for everything.
Unread 04-11-2002, 07:10 AM
No Health Insurance

Have you considered staying and getting citizenship? I don't know what other options you might have, but an immigration lawyer might have suggestions. Welcome to the US and hope it works out. Keep us posted.
Unread 04-11-2002, 10:51 AM
No Health Insurance

<< Have you considered staying and getting citizenship? I don't know what other options you might have, but an immigration lawyer might have suggestions. Welcome to the US and hope it works out. Keep us posted. >>

Oh, that's exactly what I'm trying to do -- exactly what I've been trying to do for the last 11 years. Believe it or not, it is very hard to immigrate to this country -- the time it takes is measured in years, sometimes decades. I've now been moved to the "short" waiting list because one of my parents became a US citizen this year, but still, I've got a couple more years to wait before a Green Card will even be available (limited numbers are issued each year... right now applications are backlogged from March '99). I can't leave the US and return to Canada because that will jeopardize my place on "the list" -- I just gotta wait

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