The Cost of Getting Sick

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How I Feel This Week – Image Courtesy of

Hello readers! I know I’ve been out of touch for the past couple of days. I’ve been home sick in bed, which has resulted in numerous naps, excessive consumption of chicken soup, a trip to the doctor, three antibiotics, and a bottle of Advil. I’m thrilled that I’ve finally mustered up the energy to compose a post, and the events of the last few days have gotten me to start thinking about the cost of getting sick.

This week, as a result of my respiratory infection I’ve incurred the following expenses:

  • Visit to the Doctor, including Strep Throat Test: $15 co-pay
  • Copious amounts of fresh chicken soup: $15
  • 3 Types of antibiotics – $5 each for a total of $15
  • 1 bottle of Advil to reduce fever, shakes and sweats: $10

That comes to a grand total of $55. Certainly not too bad when you add up the amount of services and products I’ve received. I’m lucky to get sick time through my job and have a good medical plan, which really reduced my costs significantly. However, what about those of us who are uninsured, unsalaried or both? In the interest of fairness, I want to show you how much the same exact experience would have cost me if I didn’t have sick time and insurance:

  • Visit to the Doctor, including Strep Throat Test: $220
  • Copious amounts of fresh chicken soup: $15
  • 3 Types of antibiotics: $210 (estimated $70 per antibiotic, which is on the cheap side)
  • 1 bottle of Advil to reduce fever, shakes and sweats: $10
  • 3 days of lost wages @ about $300 per day of work (pre-tax): $900

Grand total of…(digital drum roll)… $1355! That is nearly 25 times the cost of getting sick while having benefits. In my opinion, the discrepancy is ridiculous! However, it reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to have sick time and health insurance. If you aren’t as fortunate, it’s especially important for you to think about putting some money aside in an emergency fund to cover these types of expenses in the event of an unexpected illness or other emergency.

Well, it’s time for another nap, so back to bed I go. Stay healthy my friends!




6 thoughts on “The Cost of Getting Sick

    • I usually go once a year for regular wellness checkups. Doctor, dentist, OBGYN. I do it each August because it’s easy to remember to do everything in one month rather than doing everything at different times. I hate the copay too, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than full price. Thanks for the well wishes!

  1. Oh boo, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I hope you’re on the mend soon. The fresh chicken soup sounds tasty though. Hope you have someone there to heat it up and bring you OJ in bed.

  2. I feel that way now about going to the doctor. I really try to avoid it because I pay for my own insurance and my insurance sucks. I don’t think people realize just how tough it is for a lot of people who have no insurance or not that great insurance. It can really break you! Glad you ave such great health care though!

    • I’m not sure how Obamacare will work, but I hope it helps you out. I really believe that in a first world country, nobody should worry about going broke because of illness. Thanks for the well wishes!

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