How much did my Hy$terectomy cost?

Before I start to give some numbers, let me say FIRST and FOREMOST that I am very grateful to have health insurance.  I cannot even imagine paying for this surgery and other included costs without any insurance.  Without insurance, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had this procedure done — it would have been too expensive otherwise and I would have continued with the monthly dysmenorrhea up to a decade from now … just an estimation.

I’m imagining the cost for women from countries like Australia, Canada, England and South Africa are practically zero due to their socialist healthcare systems … on the flip side (and I’ve done no research mind you, this is only speculation) I can imagine it’s also more difficult to get a hysterectomy in the first place in those countries.  Please chime in with a reply if you know something on this subject.

I looked up some things and did some conversions.  Please keep in mind this is not exactly apples to apples, but my own limited research with these countries having both private and national healthcare … the years were also not easy to find.  And again, if anyone has corrections or updates please reply with your comments.

Australia AUD 7000 = $6,500 US Study Cost of Australian Hysterectomy – 2013 … and apparently in the Australian Medicare system, laparoscopic hysterectomy is considered a luxury:

The Medicare system considers operations like this in a similar fashion to plastic surgery where there is a very poor rebate. They feel that the great cosmetic advantage and early release from hospital as well as early return to work are a luxury that people should pay for. There is therefore a considerable gap to pay despite our attempts to lobby the government for a review. MORE info on Hysterectomy in Australia

Canada CD 6400 = $5,850 Canadian Hysterectomy Cost 2013 … so, where is Dr. Jen when I need her?  Dr. Jen Gunter – OB/Gyn extraordinaire

England £ 6000 = $9,944 US Cost of Hysterectomy in UK

South Africa Rand 40,000 = $3,740 US South African Cost of Hysterectomy 2013

Now how much each woman has to actually pay out-of-pocket in these countries … well, I have no idea.  I’m imaging not much but I’m no international health insurance cost expert by far!  This is ALL speculative musing.  I am getting the gist though that most of these countries think that hysterectomy is over performed.  I’m still in amazement that Australia’s Medicare system likens a laparoscopic hysterectomy to plastic surgery!  Oy vey!  Laparoscopic hysterectomies most often mean smaller incisions — much smaller –with less chance for wound infection, less pain and a shorter healing time.  I’m sure the people making the decisions for these hysterectomy limitations are white older males without a medical background … I’m only guessing.

And although I’m not an Aussie, I can tell you personally that those laparoscopic scars don’t even bring me anywhere near to becoming an abdomen model from my “plastic surgery”.  Ha!

So, let’s do the numbers … or at least my numbers! 

You can listen to this video while you read: Stormy Weather by Red Garland … seriously, click on the link (brown letters that say stormy weather).

This post has been one in the making because, well I don’t like numbers.  I never did my math homework in high school.  I hated college Algebra squeaking by with a C and changed my major due to struggling with accounting.  If you ask me about biology that’s a whole other subject! (pun intended)

The “total charges” bill from the hospital was … drumroll please … $29,065.00.

My out-of-pocket costs were: surgeon $675, the surgeon’s RNFA (RN – first assistant — the vagina guy (see other earlier post) … although I’m sure he’s much, much, much more than just a V-guy!) $336, $200 co-pay for the hospital, $5.25 for pre-op lab tests, one pre-op and two post-op appointments at about $115 each … and the anesthesia bill hasn’t come in yet … neither has the pathologist’s as well.  So, roughly my out-of-pocket costs now are around $1600, but I’m thinking it may be up to $2000 or so when all the other bills finally come in.

How is it possible that the total charges from the hospital ended exactly in zeros?  That’s interesting.

Again, I think almost $30,000 for a hysterectomy is a lot (self-pay wise) and I’m happy beyond words that I didn’t have to deplete my life savings and tap into my 401K or sell my cats to pay for this!  Although I’m pretty sure my husband would have given me a loan.  Ha ha!  A loan from a husband … that’s such a funny thought!

Would I have ponied up and paid 30Gs for the hyst on my own?  Well … that depends … if you’d asked me during one of my horrific dysmenorrhea days I would have said yes without a doubt … in fact, the pain was so bad I asked my husband if he could kill me to get me out of the pain … now before you go call 911 saying, “We have a psych emergency on our hands!” I was joking — being my usual hyperbolic self.  Yes, the pain was that bad and of course I wanted to go on living.  I’m here aren’t I?  I made it to the hysterectomy!

And according to this guy’s blog (keep in mind 2010 pricing) you could also get these other things for $30,000:

Twelve 55″ HDTVs
Eleven bottles of 1958 Glen Garioch whisky
Ten solar panels
Nine top-secret smart phones
Eight 450-year-old bibles
Seven nights in a beach house
Six home micro-breweries
Five golden rings!
Four years of college
Three trips to Europe
Two life-sized gingerbread houses
Or a savings bond worth $34,848.50 in five years [2010 value]

From Ardvaark.net: 12 Things I’d Rather Do with $30,000

Again, I’m so appreciative I have health insurance and was able to get FMLA time off from work so I could heal properly!  You ONLY get one chance to heal, so you might as well do it right and screw anyone who guilts you into doing things before you’re ready!

And this guy in the pic below … he’s scary!

Discount Hysterectomy!

Discount Hysterectomy!

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4 thoughts on “How much did my Hy$terectomy cost?

  1. Cate says:

    The Australian health care system is often misunderstood by Americans. We have Medicare – this is part of a universal health system. There is a Medicare levy via our tax system and people on high incomes have to either pay a little extra or take out private health care, although even the wealthy benefit from Medicare. There are many private health insurance companies and any person who can afford to pay for it can purchase it. The big difference is that the private health insurance companies do not dictate what procedures a patient can and can’t have. The customer decides on the level of insurance and what it will cover (for example you can take out basic cover plus extras such as maternity and dental). However, private health insurance only covers hospital treatments and not out patient procedures such as x-rays and scans – our Medicare system covers most of those costs. I read with horror that some American people cannot have certain procedures or even necessary scans because their health insurance doesn’t cover It. We have a public health system in Australia and some of our best hospitals are part of this system. My Mother did not have any private health insurance. She found out that she had early stage cancer of the uterus. Within six weeks she had been operated on and her follow up radiation had been organised. She didn’t pay a cent. Medicare covered all of her costs. The only thing is she didn’t have a choice of hospital or surgeon (but many surgeons work in the public and private systems) I am about to have a hysterectomy and have opted for the robotic surgery. I have selected the surgeon and decided to go private. It will cost me several thousand dollars because my health insurance company only covers a certain amount (A traditional hysterectomy would have been just about covered). This is my choice. I could have gone public and had to wait a bit longer for my surgery and not paid anything but I am fortunate and can afford to pay extra. It is every Australians’ right to turn up to the ER of a public hospital if they require emergency treatment. This doesn’t cost anything and any tests (x-rays, scans, blood tests) related to the acute problem are covered by Medicare. Our system isn’t perfect and those requiring elective surgery (non life threatening) via the public system sometimes have to wait quite a long time for their surgery but those with life threatening problems or at least very serious problems, are given excellent care. It amazes me when Americans suggest a system that is fair and doesn’t leave poor people stranded without proper heal care is ‘socialist’ like it is a bad thing. I don’t resent paying slightly higher taxes to ensure that those who are less fortunate still have access to a decent health care system – I was one of those people when I was younger and benefited from a reasonably strong universal health care system.

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    • Thanks for your information on the Australian health care system.

      Many of the wealthiest, and also some middle class, Americans view health care benefits as a privilege and not a right. It’s unfortunate for a country as wealthy as the US that we believe people should be punished if they don’t make enough money believing that the poorest among us simply aren’t driven enough to earn their own benefits. The 1% or even those close to that margin, can afford the best healthcare without even feeling any squeeze. Others don’t want socialistic healthcare because they don’t want the tax burden. I could go on and on about this subject.

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  2. I am from Canada but can only tell you about my province, British Columbia.

    I did not pay a cent for my hysterectomy. It was 100% covered through the Basic healthcare plan, something everyone in my province has. However, there is a misconception that our healthcare is “free”. It isn’t, but close. The Plan is based on a sliding scale and you pay based on income. That said, even the very wealthy don’t pay a lot, maybe a few hundred dollars a month. At some point, if your income is low enough, you don’t pay anything.

    There is also Extended coverage. My employer pays for my Basic and Extended plans and it also covers my family. The Extended pays for things like a private hospital room and prescriptions. If I didn’t have the Extended coverage, and many people don’t, I would be put in a regular shared room with 3 other people. I would have also had to pay for the 2 prescriptions after my surgery. Both were less than $20.00.

    I was able to choose my surgeon and had to wait 5 months as it was not considered an “emergency”. There are different levels depending on urgency. I have two friends that got their hysterectomies within a month because they were getting to the point of needing a transfusion.

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