Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
There goes the deductible - Getting a hip replacement
Old 06-19-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,423
There goes the deductible - Getting a hip replacement

I've been dealing with pain and weakness in my right hip for years. Had some hip bursitis last year and got the cortisone injection and did physical therapy last fall and felt like the worst was behind me.

When it came time for open enrollment we picked an HDHP plan with an HSA and a deductible of $6000/$12,000 family. We wanted to stay with the insurer that we had been with for many years as the local provider network is huge and all our doctors and hospitals were included. Also, I was always pleased with our cost (the allowed amount) compared to the retail cost. Just wanted to stay with the insurer that we knew. In our state any of the HDHP plans with an HSA use the aggregate deductible, so for the 2 of us with a family policy our deductible is $12,000. We understood this when we chose that policy. We accepted the risk of the high deductible when we chose the low premium HDHP.

I tried to carry on as usual but over the winter I had new and worse hip pain. Couldn't raise my leg to put my socks and shoes on anymore so I got a sock tool and elastic shoelaces. I couldn't get into a car normally without a lot of pain so I started sitting down and then using a strap to lift my right leg over the car door threshold. Recently I could not manage to climb stairs with each foot, I had to use just the left. I spent a lot of effort just coping and trying to not injure anything further.

I finally had enough and went to the orthopedist today. Xrays show that the joint is bone on bone at one place in the joint. Not the worst case he's seen but getting there. I also have some hip dysplasia, on the right it's a shallow joint, on the left it's normal. He talked to me about an injection that helps many people and could buy me some time. Then he saw my gait and checked further and he said I walk like I have a detached gluteus medius muscle. No wonder it hurts so much!

At that point he recommended that I get the hip replacement. He will also reattach the muscle. It's kind of what I expected as it's just been getting worse and different pain than I used to be able to cope with.

I have no idea how much all this will be but it's at least 2 days in the hospital, plus the surgical costs, PT, office visits, etc, etc.....

We are already in the deductible for about $1200 so I can easily see the remaining $10,800 being used up very quickly. It's our first year with an HSA so I'll fund it to the max of $7550 and just pay the rest. If this was next year I could have had another $7550 in the HSA but, oh well.

The surgery is scheduled for July 1, just 12 days from now. DH and I need to go to a pre-surgery education class on Tuesday and then I also have pre-admission testing and a pre-op conference with the surgeon next week.

I'm in a little bit of shock, I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until I saw the xrays and he talked about the detached muscle.

I'm glad we have the medical insurance. After we reach the $12,000 deductible anything else is paid at 100% so I told DH to think about if he needs anything. If I knew at open enrollment that this would be happening this year, would I have chosen different health insurance? Maybe. Maybe not. I'll play with some spreadsheets but it's hard to compare costs of the aggregate deductible to ones with the embedded deductible.

Besides 2 C-sections my only other hospitalization was a gallbladder removal in 1983 when I was in for 5 days. I wish they could do this as out-patient, I really hate the idea of staying in the hospital.
__________________

__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-19-2014, 05:49 PM   #2
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,494
Double ouch!

I'm not looking forward to a hospital stay either. Haven't been in one overnight since 1950 when I had surgery as an infant at 3 weeks old.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,390
But the insurance is doing exactly what it is supposed to do - cover what could otherwise be a big drain for your hip surgery.

Got me to thinking though, given annual enrollment under ACA, one could easily upgrade to a higher gold or platinum plan if one has expensive surgery coming up to have a lower deductible and then the next year downgrade to a bronze plan. I'm not suggesting it for the OP but if this diagnosis was closer to an annual re-enrollment period it might be a smart play.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
Sorry 'bout your hip. Take some comfort that the $12k deductible is not quite as bad as it sounds considering you prob saved some $$ in the lower premiums of the HDHP vs (say) an ACA Gold Plan.

BTW- IIRC all HSA-eligible ACA family Plans require an aggregate (vs individual) deductible, and couples HI premiums are fully 2X the single premium. So yes married couple get shafted vs 2 singles would might benefit from separate deductibles.

Good luck with the surgery. Thoughts and prayers are with you for smoothest of sailing. Let us know how things turn out.
__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 09:21 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
But the insurance is doing exactly what it is supposed to do - cover what could otherwise be a big drain for your hip surgery.
Exactly. We know our max will be the $12,000. While I don't want to spend $12,000 on just anything, this seems like one of the better investments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Got me to thinking though, given annual enrollment under ACA, one could easily upgrade to a higher gold or platinum plan if one has expensive surgery coming up to have a lower deductible and then the next year downgrade to a bronze plan. I'm not suggesting it for the OP but if this diagnosis was closer to an annual re-enrollment period it might be a smart play.
I also thought about this. That's exactly what I mulled over at night when I rolled around in bed trying to find a position that didn't hurt.

I checked out the 2014 prices for another Bronze HSA plan with a $8000 deductible ($4000 each) and then 30% copay until $12,700. That one is a better choice for total expenses between $9000 and $19000. Beyond $19,000 our plan is the better one. That was a fun spreadsheet to play with.

I also looked at a couple of 2014 Silver options. The premium costs jump up significantly, but there would be no aggregate deductible and no HSA. One of those might have been a good choice (by about $3000) if I had known what was coming. This insurer also offers a Gold plan with an HSA and a $4000 deductible ($2000 each) but the premium cost was way beyond affordable for us, almost 25% of our income. That premium for the year plus the $4000 deductible would have been within $1500 of what we chose. We really didn't even consider the Gold plan.

We don't know how much premium prices will change for 2015. Also, if I delayed surgery until fall and if PT stretched into 2015 I'd be starting over on another deductible.

Considering my situation (in pain, weary of coping and limping, and already part way into this year's deductible) I'm ok with getting this done sooner rather than later. I know what it will cost with my current plan vs. unknown numbers in 2015.
__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 430
I would get another opinion , or let him do the injection and buy some more time. He did say it was not the worst he had seen ?? That's a big decision that I hope you make the right move on. Good luck ever which way you go. Oldtrig
__________________
oldtrig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,390
agree - health and comfort is more important than getting all twisted up in your knickers to save a few thousand at this point.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 10:27 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
I am sorry you are having pain and disability. It is very successful surgery. I assume you are going with a guy who does many of them. The only people I have ever talked to who weren't happy with their THR got them in small cities where there just were not enough cases to keep the surgeon and the OR team sharp.

Mine was done exactly 4 months ago, and I would hardly know that I had ever had an issue. I had little pain, and then I ignored it when it did show up. When I got my xray the head of the femur had driven into the acetabulum. I was only able to walk because I had these hi-tech crutches that enabled me to take almost all the weight off that leg. Without some luck, it might have harder to get a good result

I think you are smarter than I am, good to get it done now and before summer is over you will be like new. I had very little post op pain, quit the pain pills 4 days post, and really didn't even need tylenol after that.

Best of luck to you!

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 10:55 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,675
Sorry to hear about your hip issues & all the best with the surgery.

I am curious though - was this a gradual development or did you injure yourself at some point? Were you an active person before this issue sidelined you?

Please disregard my questions if you find them too intrusive.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
Calgary_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary
Posts: 775
Good luck!

DH just had a full hip replacement on his left side 3 weeks ago. Like you, he had Hip Dysplasia and it was also bone-on-bone and he also went for the cortisone shots to try and prevent the inevitable. His surgeon, although on the younger side, has done hundreds of surgeries so we felt very comfortable with him. DH stopped the pain killers 5 days after surgery and is already walking with only the use of one crutch three weeks later. His only regret now is that he didn't get the surgery sooner!

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the insurance piece. We're Canadian so I don't even know how much the surgery cost (up here we don't get a bill from either the Dr. or hospital) :-)
__________________
I can only be nice to one person today! Today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.
Calgary_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 11:55 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,391
Sounds like an excellent use of the deductible. And, if it was me, I am sure I would be having the surgery sooner rather than later.
__________________
Katsmeow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,560
Best wishes on your surgery.

While being in the hospital stinks, my experience has been much different than 20 or more years ago. The rooms I've been in are all private, that's all they have. TV, cable, wifi. They call the food room service, you can choose of a healty menu, order when you want. While it's not fun, much better than years back.
No happy hour or live entertainment, I did ask.
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 09:57 AM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,822
OMG, I had no idea you were going through all this, Sue J. Good luck with the surgery and I hope it goes well and alleviates the pain.

What a great (and encouraging) hip replacement report from Haha in his post above.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 10:01 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,014
I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain, Sue. Hip dysplasia can often lead to rapid joint deterioration at an early age. I have a friend who has dysplasia and needed her first hip replacement at age 40. She has since had the other hip replaced and is expecting to have hip #1 redone at about age 60. While it does require hospital admission, this is very successful surgery. Here's wishing you a safe and comfortable experience and a fast recovery. Do keep us posted.

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 11:11 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
Silver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 580
I had my right hip replaced 11 years ago at age 52 yrs, and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Just had my every three year surgeon visit last month, and it looks great.....solid as a rock.

I agree totally with what someone said earlier in this thread.....choose a surgeon and hospital that has done thousands of hip replacements. It's not a complicated surgery, but precision and the right implant makes all the difference for short and long term success.

Ending the pain is worth every cent.
__________________
You're only crazy if you're poor. If you have money, you're eccentric.
Silver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Sorry to hear about your hip issues & all the best with the surgery.

I am curious though - was this a gradual development or did you injure yourself at some point? Were you an active person before this issue sidelined you?

Please disregard my questions if you find them too intrusive.
Not intrusive at all. Gosh, don't we discuss everything here?

This was a gradual development. I must have always had the dysplasia but I must have compensated for it. The xray shows that the hip socket on the right is shallower than on the left. The "C" shape of the socket is not as extended as on the left. Looks to me like the ball on top of the femur had too much room to move around and the wear and tear happened quicker on that side.

I've never been athletic but about 15 years ago I started walking at an indoor track. I remember occasional stabbing pain in that hip, sometimes I could keep walking, sometimes I had to quit and rest a few days. I kept up the habit of walking 2 miles a day, 3 or 4 days a week for many years. Gradually, the occasional pain was happening more often, I was taking longer breaks, but I still had plenty of times when I was close to fine. Maybe 2 or 3 years ago I was only able to walk 1 or 2 days a week and many times I just walked 1 or 1.5 miles. I finally stopped going at all last summer. I really miss it.

During the school year I'm a school crossing guard. When the weather is nice I stand outside during the times when the kids are coming or going but usually I'm in and out of the car multiple times. It's become very painful to lift the right leg up over the car door threshold and then maneuver under the steering wheel. I've wondered if this uneven, repetitive motion contributed to my problems.

During the summer I'm an usher at an outdoor concert venue (rock, pop, country and The Cleveland Orchestra). There is a lot of walking and we stand for 5 or 6 hours on concrete. This would have been my 8th year but I just sent an email to my supervisor about my news. Everybody is achy after ushering. For me last year was pretty tough but I got through it and still really enjoyed it.

Some of the other ushers are my age or older, some in their 70s or 80s. Every year we hear about someone with a new knee or hip. If it's not the usher, it's an usher's spouse or sibling getting the new part. One usher got her first hip last year and the other one this year.

The orthopedist is the main hip guy for a huge practice that has been in the area for a long time. I didn't research him but I have heard of him. The hospital is one location of a large hospital system in the area. We're not a big city, but we do have an abundance of hospitals.

Thanks for all the positive stories and good wishes.
__________________

__________________
Married, both 62. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
Sue J is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hip Replacement haha Health and Early Retirement 83 04-01-2014 03:49 PM
How to decide if hip replacement appropriate for an elderly relative? toofrugalformycat Other topics 7 04-07-2012 12:36 AM
Hip Replacement Experience? grumpy Health and Early Retirement 26 03-01-2012 07:37 PM
Hip Replacement - Just back home! DougViages Health and Early Retirement 9 02-18-2008 04:50 PM
Hip Replacement Surgery - Dangerous? cube_rat Health and Early Retirement 3 08-20-2007 02:28 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:23 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.