Image of money.

The High Price of Living with PsA

Those who have never experienced living with a long-term illness have no clue how expensive it is to live with an illness that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if we are able to work or not. We could have the best insurance plan possible and still have to fork out a fortune for our care. Outsiders often assume that our only expenses are our co-pays for one or two prescriptions, but they are wrong. Living with a chronic illness like psoriatic arthritis is expensive and goes far beyond medication.

Treatment

Treating PsA isn’t cheap. Treating it pharmaceutically doesn’t guarantee that insurance will cover the medication that is best for us. Even if our provider covers it, they have the ability to deny coverage for it at any time. Some companies only cover a small portion or require that the patient pay a large deductible before covering any portion of the expense. Natural and alternative treatments are rarely covered by insurance.

The cost of comfort

In addition to our treatments, we need other non-medicinal products to make our lives easier or to provide comfort. Some of these expenses include having to replace our wardrobe with clothing that doesn’t increase our pain, shoes that provide support and comfort, heating pads, massages, devices that make cooking and cleaning easier, outfitting our bathrooms to prevent falls, and more. Those who are unable to perform household chores may need to hire a housekeeper.

Getting around

Whether someone owns a car or not, they may experience periods when they aren’t able to drive themselves. While I didn’t have to pay someone to drive me during the time I couldn’t drive, every errand I needed to run cost my husband time he needed to take care of our house and yard during his off hours. Not everyone with PsA is able to get around without a mobility aid. Again, these aren’t always covered by insurance and can get quite pricey depending on the needs of the patient.

Where does the money come from?

Being able to work doesn’t necessarily make living with a chronic illness more affordable. Those who are able to work lose income every time they schedule time off for doctor appointments and tests. Their jobs may physically drain them to the point of needing to hire help to clean their homes or tend to their yards. Many aren’t able to work outside of their home and others aren’t able to work at all. Families that were accustomed to living with two incomes struggle when it’s cut in half. Not everyone qualifies for disability and those who do aren’t getting rich off of it.

These are just some of the financial costs of living with a chronic illness. I don’t know about you, but I had no clue just how expensive my life was going to get when I received my diagnosis. Is there a particular expense that caught you by surprise?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (5)
  • bbthodges
    6 months ago

    Try this with your medication. If your medicine has been approved by your insurance co, try to get in touch with the manufacturer of the medicine and get an application for patient assistance. If you qualify, you can get help with the cost. You can also contact AstroZenaca for help and they will refer you to someone who you can get an application and try for assistance. I’m not sure I spelled that right but your computer will understand. Good luck

  • Mr Benn
    6 months ago

    Totally agree!
    2018 costings:

    Food costs avg £6/meal, £84/week, £360+/month that’s crazy! I only get £480 to live on. Not paying for anything else I’d be dead within a couple of months on my own. My wife pays for all the rest. At the moment I get no help from the Government for sickness. Happens every 2 years it takes them on average 9 months to sort out if I’m entitled to sick money, because I don’t fit into any of their categories. They won’t even put me in a special cases section. Every time I have to go to my MP and complain that I am not getting proper help. This year I’ve contacted the BBC, they wanted me to go on TV, my wife was reluctant due to her career. Rock and a hard place every 2 years. Suicide is a daily thought and have attempted in the last 2 months. Doctor cares but even the psychiatrist appointment has been put of for another month.
    You all have no idea what life is about when your really ill!

  • CathyD moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi @mr-benn,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think the cost of living with a chronic illness is really underestimated, and so is the stress and uncertainty of dealing with the benefits system. I can remember feeling physically sick every time a brown envelope would come through the door. Do you have anyone helping you with your case?

    I’m sorry to read that you have been experiencing suicidal thoughts, and that your psychiatry appointment has been delayed. If you need support in the meantime, the Samaritans can offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us Please remember that we’re also always here if you need someone to talk to, or a place to vent.

    I also wanted to let you know that your Cillit Bang comment made me smile – as soon as I read it I heard “Hi, I’m Barry Scott!” in my head. I wonder if our friends from the rest of the world will have seen this advert!

    Warm wishes to you,
    -Catherine, Community Moderator

  • marcisnydee
    6 months ago

    Thank you – this is a good read for those all too familiar. This article provides a great dose of reality for those who may not be so familiar with how disruptive this condition is… I am still finding household items that help me function from cooking to cleaning. I recently bought a rechargeable power scrubbing tool complete with extended handle to help clean bathrooms and tubs. And always looking for tools to help in the kitchen. The first major investment outside of treatment and medical expenses were shoes! It is out of the question to not be wearing a good pair and really difficult to find those that are orthopedic and fashionable. Even though I may feel like it some days – I am not a grandma!!

  • Mr Benn
    6 months ago

    Best thing for cleaning most of the kitchen or bathroom is the one and only “Cillit Bang” UK. Leave on the dirt for 10 mins, rub in to serious dirt with a nail brush or like. then wash off! Simply the best and so cheap in the cheap stores…

    Absolutely brilliant on tile grout dirt!

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