Out of Pocket Medical Bills and Costs For Australians with Breast Cancer

Out of Pocket Medical Bills and Costs For Australians with Breast Cancer

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When a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is always an overwhelming experience. Australians who have been diagnosed require medical attention immediately. The first thought that most people need to deal with is ‘How can I get treated?’. Most often or not, you never think about the actual costs until a bill is handed to you. When it comes to your health and well-being, taking care of yourself and therefore seeking treatment is the firs thing that comes to mind.

However, for many Australians, the costs for specialist visits and appointments can already be too expensive to cover. On average, individuals with breast cancer can spend approximately $30,000 on treatment and recovery.

Here is an example of some of the costs. Getting an ultrasound and needle biopsy in one visit before treatment can cost you $1200. Although there are Medicare benefits, Australians can expect to receive a rebate of $100 only. Therefore the first visit after your general GP visit will cost you $1100 of out of pocket costs.

Other costs that Australians with breast cancer can experience include:

– Mastectomy with reconstruction- To remove breast cancer or to remove chances of cancer reoccurring, patients can have the option to conduct a mastectomy (removal of breasts). This is not covered by Medicare as it is considered as an elective surgery.

– Appointments with Specialists- Depending on the stage and what your suggested treatment will be, appointments with specialists can also add up to high costs. On average, appointments can cost $220 per visit, with a rebate from Medicare of $80. Individuals will therefore cover $140 per visit. Generally, patients will have 3 or more visits during the course of treatment.

– Multiple Surgeries- One of the misconceptions is that Australian patients with breast cancer will go through surgery once and the cancer is no longer evident. However, for many Australians, there are multiple surgeries which means multiple costs. Some Australians have stated that they have undergone 5 surgeries to date.

– Pathology tests, Sentinel node biopsy, scans, and other examinations

– Tests conducted to check the status of any cancer cells. This will occur before, during and after treatment to ensure that cancer has been removed completely. Scans can also be completed to check the location of cancer for proper removal.

photo by: silas216