Affording Osteoarthritis Treatments
Arthritis is an extremely common affliction, but sadly, that doesn’t make it more affordable to handle. In fact, many sufferers struggle with sticking to their recommended treatment plan, mainly because it’s just too expensive: research shows that OA patients pay up to an average of $1300 after insurance.
Since arthritis is a progressive disease, and inadequate treatment will almost certainly lead to more disability, you can’t afford to give up on treatment altogether. Instead, look into less obvious treatment options, take a greater role in your daily OA management, and reach out to all the resources around you.
Take Preventative Measures
A big pharmacy bill is always an unwelcome surprise, and it makes good sense to take steps to avoid the shock in the first place. Ask questions, sort through your options, and communicate well to get a prescription plan that works better for you:
- Talk cost with your doctor. Mention your cost concerns with your doctor before they get out their prescription pad. DMARDs, biologics and prescription pain control can be very effective, but also extremely expensive. Ask your doctor if there’s any other drugs that you could try first. Often, older drugs or generic versions are much cheaper.
- Consult the drug companies directly. If you can’t get the financial help from your doctor or your insurance, go right to the top – drugs companies may have coupons or rebates on new drugs to help with your payments. You can find contact info on their websites, and when you do speak with a representative, be sure to ask for samples (it never hurts to ask).
- Get to know your insurance plan. Don’t implicitly trust that your insurance plan will cover any or all of your medication. If you take some time to comb through the fine print, you’ll be able to avoid unexpected costs – or even receive some reimbursement for OA-related aids.
- Research supplements before trying them out. Supplements can seem promising, but complementary therapies don’t work the same way for everyone. Unfortunately, supplements like certain vitamins and natural compounds can cost a lot, and you may find them inadequate. Also, some supplements can interfere with your prescription medication, which is an even greater cost. Instead of going to the supplement brand’s website, visit a centralized and reputable resource, like the Arthritis Foundation website, to learn about which supplement may be worth the investment.
Different insurance providers might offer different degrees of coverage, but don’t expect to find a plan that magically ticks all the boxes on your list of demands. Find insurance that you know you can afford, and then take matters into your own hands by overhauling your approach to your daily health and wellness.