Surgery is usually the last resort to helping a patient with a medical condition. Whether minimally invasive or invasive surgery, the expenses can throw a family budget off its axis. How badly can surgery impact families with a loved one in the household undergoing the procedure? Today we’re talking about this topic that is sometimes overlooked in a world where we would usually consider all other monthly expenditures and not those related to surgery.
Surgery Impacts a Household in Many Ways
We can’t always avoid everything negative that happens. Sometimes families are faced with life-changing challenges that occur suddenly and sometimes at the very beginning, for instance, when a child is born with a medical challenge. Some medical conditions like limb lengthening and reconstruction surgery for deformed limbs and bones can take place over a series of years and many surgeries. Procedures like these can set a family back with finances in ways that sometimes make simple things harder to come by. Apart from the financial impact, the emotional impact is huge, too.
The emotional impact some surgeries can have on the individual is inevitable. Patients may experience depression, a lack of self-esteem, anxiety, and feel as though they have become a burden to their family members at home. Some family members at home may now feel as though life revolves solely around one person or that other family members must now put their own lives on hold to help the patient recover. Having a good support group is critical for someone who has had medical surgery, and an emotionally supportive family is one of the positive factors.
Low-Income Homes Feel the Impact the Most
Even when both parents work, the financial strain deeply affects lower-income families. In the case where one of the parents must stay home to take care of the child or where extra home care is required, it ultimately results in one less breadwinner. In the case of bringing in medical assistance, the cost of maintaining the help is inevitable despite two incomes if the income is low.
Emergency Medical Surgeries May Cut Into Savings
Unforeseen injuries requiring surgery can easily cut into family savings and even put a hole in that retirement nest egg. More than 8 million patients required emergency medical care for fall-related injuries in 2019 alone. It is not uncommon for households to be saddled with medical bills.
Manage Health Bills Effectively
It’s estimated that about 80% of medical bills carry errors. This worsens things for a family with a loved one undergoing surgery. From the medical bills to the therapy and recovery process, it all costs money just to learn you may have been overpaying. Check whether you too, have received errors in your medical bills and query these errors as you may be owing way less than is stated on the invoice.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 38,600 surgeons working in the United States, and this equates to thousands of households with one or other family member who has had surgery, albeit cosmetic or for medical reasons. While healthcare remains of primary importance in the world, it isn’t always something every family or household has easy access to without struggling. Sometimes you can try and accrue funds with a GoFundMe and charity to help finance a medical cause. People are often eager to help for a good course, and if you explain your situation to your church community or other means of fund donation source, they may be able to help with part of your medical expenses. Some people take out more loans to pay their medical bills, but this may not be the best option as it still leaves the individual in debt.
If you’re reading this and you are also having a loved one at home going through surgery, know that you are not alone. Consider the facts above as you budget for a family member’s surgery.