The REAL Cost of Sinus Surgery

by on Aug 24 2012 - 9 Comments

Yesterday I wrote a post about the cost of sinus surgery. Unfortunately, after making a few calls to confirm things, the costs are much higher than I first thought.

Originally I thought the entire procedure would cost between $2,000 and $3,000. That’s because the original quote I got was only the physician’s fees. Isn’t that scary? That’s just one piece of the pie. There’s quite a few other pieces…

Here’s a breakout of the costs:

  • Physician’s Fee: $3,000
  • Anesthesia Fee: $1,700
  • Facility Fee: ?
  • Septoplasty: $7,000
  • Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: $7,000 (Range of $5,500 to $8,500)

The total cost before insurance is approximately $18,700.

As you could expect, I was a bit shocked to find out that the price tag was this high. While the $2,000 – $3,000 quote originally given to me by someone at the doctor’s office should have raised red flags, I have not had to have surgery (besides wisdom teeth extraction) since I was six years old so I have never looked into the costs that go into a surgery or what an expected cost would be.

Does anything change for me?

This changes nothing for me. I verified that my out of pocket maximum for 2012 is $3,300. Since my deductible with my HSA is $2,400, I will definitely hit the out of pocket max.

Because it takes so many appointments to get to the point where you are actually approved for surgery, I have already had a decent amount of medical expenses. While $3,300 in medical costs within a year is nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended), it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than paying close to $20,000 for surgery.

I’m no mind reader, but I’m pretty sure there is one question that some people are thinking right about now…

What if you don’t have insurance?

The whole reason President Obama proposed Health Care Reform was because of the affordability issue. There is no lack of quality health care in the United States. What we do lack is affordable health care. In any other product or service market it would be obvious that if you pay more for something you expect a higher quality. Health care is a much different market because it deals with life and death – things that are worth more to most people than any dollar value.

If you do not have health insurance but have had chronic sinus infections and you are either convinced you will eventually need a septoplasty and/or endoscopic sinus surgery, do whatever you can to put it off until you have health insurance (Disclaimer: I am not a health professional and this is simply my opinion. Seek out advice from a health professional before doing/not doing anything about your medical condition).

Starting in January 2014, there will be insurance exchanges set up that guarantee you health insurance. This insurance will 1) be affordable and 2) cover pre-existing conditions. While some states are resisting the exchanges, it is essentially a done deal. You will be able to get this insurance, and you will be able to get your medical conditions treated (even if they are pre-existing).

So today I stand corrected and I apologize for making it seem like sinus surgery was cheaper than it really is. After learning the true costs, I would be interested to hear of ANY surgery that costs less than $3,000.

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Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
 

8 comments
RobertaRenstromNyquist
RobertaRenstromNyquist

Sadly, it seems like even simple procedures outrageously expensive! Crazy! On the other end of the spectrum, my nephew's youngest daughter was born with a life threatening illness that required two bone marrow transplants. My nephew told me that a single dose of bone marrow - just the dose - nothing else - was $500,000! She had two! And, the marrow was harvested from her brother. My nephew said that eventually the super huge amounts start to resemble Monopoly money - kind of unreal. My dad had the sinus surgery and it made a huge difference for him. I should have it, too. Maybe another time. Hope it all goes good for you!

femmefrugality
femmefrugality

Jan 2014 seems like such a long time to wait!  I'm glad you're okay...I have sinus problems, but hope to never have any surgery done.  I'm a huge wuss.  

GregatClubThrifty
GregatClubThrifty

Yikes! That is a lot of money. I'm glad that you did some further research. I'm suprised that you were able to get pricing from some of these places. When we were researching physical therapy, it was hard to get a straight answer on the costs from anybody. Their excuse was that they couldn't tell me because it was coded. It seems like health care professionals should be required to have a set price list of some sort.

AverageJoeMoney
AverageJoeMoney

Wow! That's a ton. Wait till you have health coverage is good advice, indeed. You're under 1M today on Alexa! btw. Sweet.

Em23
Em23

Ouch that's a lot of money. I disagree with you that the health care bill is a done deal.  If Romney wins he will get rid of that in a heart beat.  I for one would love affordable health care but not at the expense of the government forcing everyone to purchase it.  That's just not something I believe the government should control.  They need to fix it by regulating the insurance companies and medical field so procedures aren't as expensive. 

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

 @GregatClubThrifty Trust me, this took me HOURS.  I was transferred back and forth and up and down and all over the state it seemed like.  The number of people I talked to who transferred me before I could get an answer was unbelievable....it's the whole reason I screwed up on yesterday's post.  I thought after getting transferred 10 times I had the right number.  Thank goodness I double-checked!

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

 @AverageJoeMoney I know, I just had to update the widget when I saw that I had broken 1M!

 

If you can put things off until you have coverage (or until the government guarantees you insurance, it's a huge cost savings.

DC @ Young Adult Money
DC @ Young Adult Money moderator

 @Em23 I don't think Romney has enough political will to completely overturn the bill.  He would also need it to go through the Congress, which I see as unlikely.  Most of the Republicans aren't as conservative as they claim to be.

 

I generally agree with you, though I don't see further regulation as helping.  I have a lot of opinions on this, maybe I'll write a post sometime ;)  For the purpose of this post, I was just stating the fact that as of right now, in 2014 health care will be much cheaper and available regardless of work status.