First Person: The Flu Season Cost My Family $600

Yahoo Contributor Network

While there are reports that the flu season is over, we have yet to see relief in my house. This year we were hit hard with the flu and winter colds. In fact, this is the first time in a very long time that both my husband and I caught what the children had. As if the sickness was not enough, there was also a financial toll taken on us. This is how much the flu season cost us, what we bought, and how we will be better prepared in the future.

The cost

At first we were treating the boys like they had colds. We went to the local drugstore and spent $23 on cold medicines for the both of them. When that didn't help, my oldest went to the emergency room only to find out he had an ear infection. After the co-pay for both the medicine and visit, we were out $125. Within a week, my infant was at the very same emergency room with an ear infection as well. This time we were given something different. After that visit and co-pay, we were out $130. Two weeks later they both were taken to the doctor and had to be given breathing treatments. We were sent home with a nebulizer. The cost for that was an astounding $300, including both co-pays and medicine for the nebulizer. Thankfully my mother-in-law already had the machine, or else it would have been significantly more. After everything was said and done, we spent $578 on co-pays and medications.

Future preparation

My youngest son couldn't be vaccinated for the flu because he was under six months old. My oldest boy took the vaccination, which was $25. There was a slight difference in how they both handled it, and I will definitely be having them both vaccinated next year. I am also going to be proactive in purchasing more hand sanitizing products and frequently taking them to wash their hands, as well as having my husband and I practice the same rituals. It is important to practice germ prevention in order to avoid passing the illness around.

While we are in better shape than those without insurance, we still took a financial hit. After almost three weeks of suffering through emergency room visits, doctor's office visits, and medications, everyone was feeling better, but we were in the hole for $603. This has been one of the most costly medical interactions we have had, and we do not want a repeat occurrence next year.

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