The Cost of Having an Ostomy

(I wrote this post a few months ago and forgot to share. But here it is anyways): 

What many people don’t realize is that having an ostomy is financially expensive. Since my benefit package was too overwhelming to look at I’ve spent months paying out of pocket only for my Mom to tell me that a portion of my products are covered. But until I submit a claim, I don’t know exactly how much will be taken care of. In the mean time, my bank account dwindles and my decision to have a J-Pouch is reconfirmed with every swipe of the debit card.

I thought I would break it down to give people a realistic understanding of the cost of these medical supplies. Keep in mind each of these prices include the 20% discount Shoppers Home Health Care offer me for being a regular customer:

  • 1 Box of 5 Coloplast Flanges: $43.19
    • x2 because one box only has 5 flanges
  • 1 Box of 10 Coloplast Pouches: $59.99
  • 1 Box of 20 Eakin Seals: $ 135.19

TOTAL: $281.56 ($70.40 Savings)

This is one receipt from 1 trip 2 weeks ago.

I also buy:

  • 1 box of Coloplast Skin Barrier Strips: $58.99

After spending this money I saw my Stoma and Wound nurse who then recommended I use a convex flange since I’ve been having a lot of issues. Which means half of these products won’t be useful anymore. (UGH LIFE). So I went to Canmeddirect.ca because she said they might be a little bit cheaper and purchased:

  • 1 box of 5 Coloplast CONVEX Flanges: $50.56
  • 1 Box of Coloplast Pouches: $49.41
    • + $8 of shipping

TOTAL: $109.01

TOTAL THIS MONTH: $449.56

Thanks to my Mom my benefits are all set up so once I submit a claim hopefully this amount will be less, but up until this point, this is roughly the cost I’ve been paying since my surgery. Ideally these products last about 2 ½ months but since I’ve been having some leakage issues, I’m going through things a bit quicker.

This post highlights the importance of having a good stoma nurse who can help find the right products that will last. Unfortunately I’m still struggling with finding exactly what will work, but I think I’m on the right path. Although the cost is high it’s also important to take off appliances as soon as there is any itching or burning, otherwise my skin will break down…. In the mean time the only thing breaking down is my bank account.

*** UPDATE: Since this post was written a few months ago, I have since submitted some receipts to my benefits. In total, since June 2016 I submitted $792.75. Luckily my benefits package covers %80 and I should be receiving some money back shortly.

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2 thoughts on “The Cost of Having an Ostomy

  1. Hi Shannen! I’m happy you’ve come across the blog. I’m actually Canadian so I don’t pay anywhere CLOSE to what someone in the U.S. pays. My actual health care experience is covered from our government which I’m SO thankful for. It’s only out supplied that we have to pay for. I actually do get some covered now through my work benefits but it sounds like your system is much more financially effective. I’m very jealous!

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  2. I just stumbled apon your instergram and it lead me to your blog, I can’t believe you are made to pay this much! I really feel greatfull to live in a country with free health care (Australia) I only have to pay $55 per year and then I get send what ever supplies I need, my entire surgery and hospital stay was completely free as well. It’s just not right that American have to pay so much for their health:(

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