Here is part 3 of my posts on the kidney transplant class. The one clear message I received was that even though you may have the best insurance in the world.... plan on a big chunk of money to come out of pocket. Insurance doesn't pay for everything. My sister and I briefly sat down and was trying to figure how much out of pocket it would cost me just in the first 6 months or so during and after transplant. We came up with nearly $20,000 and I am sure we aren't even thinking of everything. This does include my $4500.00 maximum out of pocket deductible. You have to think of lost wages, gas for an 8 hour round trip, lodging, money for the caregiver of my two little munchkins during part of this time, the donor's transportation, lodging, etc. etc. etc. The list is enough to make your eyes cross!
The medicine if you don't have insurance after transplant is near $4500 a month. This is just an estimate! With Insurance it still run most between $300-500 per month. The sad thing is that people can't afford the immune suppressant drugs and will try to space them out instead of taking them regularly because they can't afford it. This causes them to reject the organ and go on dialysis...or even worse die. (Ironically, they will get help for dialysis...not for the meds that keep them away from dialysis). Now, I am talking about people under the age of 65 and do not qualify for medicare. If you are under age 65 and CAN qualify for medicare they will pay partially for your meds for 3 years....then you are on your own. I don't believe I will qualify for medicare because I am not currently on dialysis.
We were also told to start fundraising through your community, church, and work. I have a VERY supportive family with this. I think they know that the financials scare me just as much as the transplant does. My Dad is in the process of organizing a raffle to win a new Harley Davidson....maybe even a new car. My sister is doing things with work and on the local level with bake sales, etc. My mom is making plans with her church....and all my friends are wanting to help. My husband John is helping them with all the fundraisers. I am getting emotional just typing this. You realise how much you can count on others who care for you. I am in the process of establishing a couple funds. I think one is going to be with the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF). I am working with a lady named Rebecca who has been very helpful answering my questions. All my family and friends have to do is call her when they want to set up an event and she will help them. My family and friends that live 1000 miles away can help too.
After I am done with this endeavor and on the road to recovery....I am going to do something to "pay it forward". I do small things for charities now....but I feel like God has lead me to where I need to go because he has bigger plans for me to help others. I just know it and that what is giving me peace about my situation.