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Crohn's Disease Forum » Surgery » Stoma Subforum » How much do ostomy supplies cost you per month?


02-12-2014, 11:54 PM   #1
VeganOstomy
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How much do ostomy supplies cost you per month?

I'm fortunate enough to have found an insurance company which covers ostomy supplies, but I find it's still quite expensive and my coverage limit will likely run out before my 12 month renewal, and I'm quite concerned at how much it could cost me to purchase these supplies out of pocket...

Having a new ostomy is great, because you can go off samples for a little while, but it also means you may have to try many different products to find one that works, or use extra products in order to correct skin issues/leaking/adhesive problems.

I've calculated that a bare minimum I would have to spend just to get by, assuming no skin issues, and no "extras" like pouch deodorant, barrier extenders, etc. It would cost approx. CDN$124 or just under $1500 a year. And that's only for a flange, pouch, adhesive remover wipes and gauze pads for cleaning around the stoma. My government only covers $600 a year.

Now, this can easily balloon to close to CDN$3000 a year if I needed to use a moldable ring, like Eakins and even more if I include the "extras" (which really do improve quality of living).

How much have you guys been spending on supplies?

One irony to note regarding insurance... my policy only covers supplies purchased in Canada. Unfortunately, that means I'm often paying double for supplies that I could be getting from the US through a friend who visits her parents often. This would not only save the insurance company money, but it would get me more supplies that I need, without being concerned about going over my coverage limit. It's really silly that they wouldn't cover these out-of-country purchases, considering a) I'd be getting them state side if I was paying out of pocket anyways b) All the work to get them in falls on me. They don't have to do a single thing different, since they reimburse me directly.
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02-13-2014, 05:00 AM   #2
AussieMumma
 
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Oh I'm sorry to hear that. I think it sucks you should have to pay for anything :-/
Our government covers our supplies.. There is a limit obviously, but from what I have seen it covers more than enough so that I will never have to pay anything out of pocket.
02-13-2014, 06:12 AM   #3
Samboi
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Yes - we are very lucky in Australia.
I paid an annual fee to join the local ostomy association ($50 per annum) and everything was free beyond that very small cost.
The provisions were very generous. But they do ask you not oversupply yourself.
It really took a lot of the stress out of it.
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02-13-2014, 08:37 AM   #4
VeganOstomy
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So you guys have possibly the coolest accents and your supplies are paid for? :-)

02-13-2014, 09:13 AM   #5
nogutsnoglory
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American here but lucky to have insurance that covers almost everything in full.
02-13-2014, 09:18 AM   #6
VeganOstomy
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American here but lucky to have insurance that covers almost everything in full.
Any limit?

My insurance covers $1500 the first year and $5000 after 3 years, which would be more than enough to cover all the supplies I could ever need. But it does cost $64 a month and it's still a big expense. I know there are many ostomates who simply can't afford these expenses. In fact, in my recent Ostomy association chapters newsletter, the ET Nurse shared a story of one woman who came to visit her with a paper towel covering her stoma because she couldn't afford new wafers and pouches. Breaks my heart

02-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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There is no financial limit that I'm aware of but they do limit done supplies ie: certain amount of gelling sachets per period. For the most part I get whatever I want free.
02-13-2014, 11:59 AM   #8
VeganOstomy
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There is no financial limit that I'm aware of but they do limit done supplies ie: certain amount of gelling sachets per period. For the most part I get whatever I want free.
Those types of limits are generally good unless you have problems that require daily appliance changes. The dollar amount limit, like the one I've got, is restrictive since I'm limited to where I purchase products from, AND I'm a big online shopper and get really good prices compared to the local medial supply retail stores. If I were shopping at a brick and mortar store, I'd easily be paying 20% more for supplies, which means less supplies for the same amount of coverage
02-13-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
nogutsnoglory
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Honestly it's absurd that insurance doesn't cover all of our supplies in full. Do some diabetics have to pay? We didn't choose to have an ostomy it wasn't cosmetic surgery.
02-13-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
AussieMumma
 
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Exactly! It's really sad that anyone should have to pay our of pocket, this is not something you choose!
02-13-2014, 06:56 PM   #11
Nyx
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I'm one of those lucky ones that has no insurance and gets to pay for her supplies..

Depends on the month, but I spend about $45 for 1 box of flanges, and $55 for 1 box of bags (but I don't buy bags every month, I wash and reuse mine). I also buy coloplast strip paste, a box of 10 for about $30, and that will last me 6 months. I buy colomajic liners, which have just gone up in price (grrr) - 100 for $29 - I go through 2 boxes of 100 per month. I don't use any of the extras like powders, pastes, or wipes...they're not in the budget.

Is your stoma permanent? If so, the government will give you $600 a year for that. It's not much and certainly won't cover even half our supplies, but it's better than nothing.
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02-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #12
UnXmas
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So glad we have the NHS here, I don't pay anything at all.

The only cost that I feel is the environmental one, which keeps me in check - I'm careful not to be wasteful and to use the minimal amount of supplies because I'm throwing away so much rubbish that can't be recycled. Having that awareness at the back of my mind perhaps stops any temptation to just try out lots of new products and things and make my bags last longer if I can.

The stoma suppliers the NHS uses seem to me to be far more ready to be generous than with other kinds of prescriptions. I'm not exactly sure how the system works, but basically the ostomy suppliers are a business and want to make a profit, and the money they make comes from the NHS. So the ostomy suppliers want those of us with stomas to spend as much of the NHS's money on their products as possible - they advertise, promote useful but sometimes unnecessary products, etc. They also have amazing customer service, with all sorts of helplines, deliveries always done within 24 hours, even on Sundays, etc.

With other types of prescriptions (all other medications and everything else non-stoma related), there doesn't seem to be that business aspect. So while the patient either doesn't pay or pays the standard prescription fee (around 7 I think), there is pressure on the doctor doing the prescribing and the NHS providing the products to minimise expenditure. So, for example, I have been prescribed generics rather than branded medications because they're cheaper, and have had occasions where they've been strict about how much of a product I can have. The number of continence pads I'm allowed for a month has a set upper limit, the same with the number of Ensures I'm allowed per month.

The stoma suppliers seem to just keep trying and trying to make me a happy customer and to get me to order as much as I want, and from what I've seen, the NHS complies with no questions asked. (Well, I guess if I really went over what anyone could conceivably use in a given period of time, someone would eventually say something.) It still takes me aback how good the stoma suppliers are here, and that appears to be a result of how the system is set up, with the suppliers motivated by making money but with the patient footing none of the costs.

Last edited by UnXmas; 02-14-2014 at 09:25 AM.
02-14-2014, 09:24 AM   #13
nogutsnoglory
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I hate the capitalist healthcare system. Nobody ever paid for my pads, diapers or ensures. Well, I did but yeah💩
02-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #14
vonfunk
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I worked my costs out to about $15 or so a week for the two piece system. I've never actually had to buy any powder, paste or elastic belts. I started with a surplus of paste after surgery due to my ostomy nurse. And once a year I call Coloplast and Hollister, and ask for samples, stating that I am doing my yearly re-evaluation. For the sake of full disclosure, I am not above flirting with the CSR or mild fibbing regarding my current appliance to get extra samples.
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