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Author Topic: Medical Costs  (Read 6625 times)

Offline jlmanzak

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Medical Costs
« on: November 01, 2013, 12:49:04 PM »
So I'm currently going through the process of getting all of my medical tasks accomplished. It is an expensive project! At the moment it looks like I will end up going to at least 5 different doctors, 2 dentists, and an optometrist! Is any one else experiencing these issues? Does anyone have any resources for getting lab work done at low cost?

For dental stuff, make sure you check out http://www.usa-icd.org/projects/peace-corps/index.htm for dentists that will do free exams and xrays. Anything else you need done (I had to get a cavity filled and a cleaning done) will cost, but this will get you started!

Offline tiranasaurusrex

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Re: Medical Costs
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 09:13:56 PM »
I'm getting my stuff done now, and with my crappy insurance, I may as well not have insurance. It's awful.

For lab tests? Call around. I found my Metabolic Panel at Any Lab Test Now for cheaper than other locations, all my other labs were cheaper at a local hospital. Except HIV- found that free at a clinic, as well as urinalysis testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, all free.

Vaccinations- I had MMR and Varicella covered already. Got Tdap at a county health clinic, getting Polio Booster at a university travel clinic- check to see if your school/the local university has one. The one in my town looks great- polio booster for $45. Be prepared to show people the polio booster page, they'll say that only kids get it and that you don't need it.

Dental- with my normal dentist, thankfully insurance covered part of this. Still had to pay for xrays (too recent for insurance to pay again) and that proby thing they have to do with your gums. Tip- if you're not good at flossing, make a concerted effort to do it every day for a couple weeks prior. They'll have to stick a tiny probe into the space between your teeth and gums along every tooth on both sides. It sounds painful, but it's so much easier if you've been doing your flossing regularly.

Physical- Insurance didn't cover this (I swear to god, I wish the ACA was coming three months sooner. I would have saved HUNDREDS of dollars). I'm getting this from the university travel clinic for about $65, and the pap smear will cost whatever the lab charges to process it.


All in all? Be prepared to spend HOURS calling around and comparing prices if your insurance isn't awesome/if you don't have it. Call your insurance ahead and ask if they cover lab testing, vaccinations (be sure to specify if you're a dependent over age 18, this can affect whether they cover it), pap smears (if you're a woman), doctor visits, etc.

And yeah, it gets expensive. I'd guestimate that it's going to cost me about $600 by the time I'm done: $50 metabolic panel, $190 for other labs besides HIV, HIV free, $50 for Tdap administration/vaccine, $45 Polio booster, $150+ for dental x-rays and proby thing, $65 for physical, god knows what for pap smear, $30 for hepatitis C repeat test (borderline neg result? idk). And that's with (shitty) insurance, and my teeth were fine/didn't need fillings or wisdom teeth surgery.
Albania invitee, March 2014-May 2016, Community Health Education

David

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Re: Medical Costs
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 02:11:16 PM »
I know we all have to go through the medical crap but sometimes I wonder why the Peace Corps doesn't help with these expenses, or work it out so you can get done at a military or VA facility or something like that.   I am glad you found a way through it all. 

Maybe it is a way for Peace Corps to weed people out. 

Offline Jeff

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Re: Medical Costs
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 02:09:13 PM »
Actually, it IS possible to get some general physical examination done at military facilities (at least at Navy facilities).

You do have a VERY low priority in terms of status to see a dr., so it may take a LONG time to see someone but it is possible.

Take a look at: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/32/728.59.

This is from 32 CFR Part 728 - MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE FOR ELIGIBLE PERSONS AT NAVY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT FACILITIES.

I know when I applied the first time we were told this is a possibility, but no one had actually tried to do it that I know of back then....but, it is in the law!  I have also heard of people getting deals with the VA, but again, I don't know how that works as I don't know anyone personally that has done so.

That being said, I don't know how the cost/payment works with this.

Jeff.
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline Khaleesi

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Re: Medical Costs
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 08:17:06 PM »
When I called the VAs in the Los Angeles area, it took me a very long time to reach someone who had any idea what the Peace Corps even was. I was re-routed to the billing office, and there the representative chuckled and told me she'd heard of no such affiliation. I haven't heard any recent volunteers say that they've had successes with the VA either.