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13 frightening costs for people with MS


Average costs $69,000 a year!

It adds up quickly. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the average costs per year with someone diagnosed with MS is $69,000. That adds up all the direct and indirect costs. It includes lost wages and about $39,000 a year in health care costs alone.

The estimated costs for all people in the country with MS exceeds about $28 billion a year, according to health official estimates.

25 percent fall below poverty line

According to a report released in 2006 (Minden et al), one-fourth of every person who has MS has an individual income that falls below the federal standards of poverty. A total of 5 percent of the family incomes of people with MS fall below the federal poverty level line.

82 percent are unemployed

The Sonya Slfika Study of 2006 actually compares the different forms of MS. Those with relapsing-remitting MS (characterized by unpredictable relapses followed by periods of months to years of relative quiet remission) are more likely unemployed, a total of 82 percent.

Those people with primary progressive MS (characterized by progression of the illness, with no, or only occasional and minor, remissions and improvement) have a 42 percent unemployment rate, and both groups have lower family income. Of course, the worse the disease, the higher the costs.

13 percent stop meds because of cost

In a 2008 study (Minden et al) of people with MS, 13 percent of the people with the illness stop the treatments, medications and medications for the disease because they can no longer afford it.

Another one of the major reasons (24 percent) stop the medications because they don't seem to be working.

70 percent can't pay costs, even with insurance

In a report about health insurance, by Iezzoni & Ngo, in 2007, at least 70 percent of people with MS have reported a hard time paying for their health care even though they have insurance. The study showed that more than 90 percent of people with MS actually have insurance.

About 16.4 percent reported experiencing a lot of difficulty paying their bills even though they are insured. Another 21 percent reported that they had spent less on food, heat and other needs. About 30 percent put off seeking health care because of the high costs of the illness, and 20 percent skipped doses of medications, split pills or delayed filling prescriptions because of the costs involved.

The wealthier are more likely taking a drug

Those who have higher income and have MS, or who are employed, are more likely to be taking a medication that is helping with the disease, or having regular infusions or injections. They are up to 50 percent more likely to be on a medication that is helping them, according to a 2008 student (Minden et al, 2008).

One exacerbation could cost $140,000

The range of costs of an exacerbation or an episode, when taking in all the expenses, over a two-year period could cost $80,000 to $140,000. The Goldberg, et al study of 2009 rated the cost-effectiveness of the MS treatments.

Bankruptcies caused because of expenses

People with MS have the highest costs of out-of-pocket expenses of all non-stroke neurological illness. The study of medical bankruptcies showed that 62.1percent of all personal bankruptcies in the country were related to medical costs associated with the illness.

The highest for non-stroke neurologic illnesses such as MS (the mean expenses is $34,167), followed by diabetes ($26,971), injuries ($25,096), stroke ($23,380), mental illnesses ($23,178), and heart disease ($21,955).

Average co-pay is $112

The out of pocket co-pay costs per visit averages to about $112.75 for MS patients and a whopping 4 percent had costs of $100 or less.

The more the cost, the less likely the MS suffer will fill the prescription. When out of pocket costs were $100 or less, only 3.5 percent did not fill the prescription. This percentage rose to 19.7 percent when these costs were between $251-$500 and 30.8 percent when costs were more than $1,000.

One-third pay for their canes and crutches

In more than one-third of the cases, people with MS and their families paid the completed 100 percent of the cost of mobility aids such as canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchair. In most cases there is aid for families

Seniors with MS have it tough

One in five of the people who are older than 55 with MS, they report unmet needs concerning wellness or health services. People who are 65 or older are more likely to be unemployed, have lower
incomes, live alone, have more trouble with walking, bowel and bladder function, and need help with activities such as travel, shopping, bathing, dressing, and using a toilet, according to the studies.

50 percent have long-term insurance

Just over half of people with MS report that they have long-term disability insurance according to a study by Iezzoni & Ngo in 2007. One-third of the MS population has no life insurance and more than half of those who apply for life insurance after being diagnosed with MS are turned down due to their MS.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EXAMINER
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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