Unlike conditions, illnesses affect a broader range of people and last for a shorter time period. Illnesses can be equally as painful as a condition, though you have the promise of being able to heal and recover with treatment. Chronic illnesses would fall in the condition category, but in this section we will explore some common and not-so-common illnesses that can affect us all. Bacteria and viruses, as well as our environments, choices and immune systems play a large role in how often we become sick. Though most of us are familiar with getting sick in the winter when it’s cold and germs are spreading like wildfire, we are all susceptible to illnesses at all times of year.
If you didn’t have health insurance and you became sick with something you couldn’t effectively treat at home, do you have any idea what it would cost to get well? Between seeing the doctor, filling a prescription for medication, and buying any miscellaneous over-the-counter items you may also be prescribed, an uninsured person could be looking at over $150 or $200, depending on their doctor choice and their illness. For example, the Minute Clinic charges $79 – $89 for office visits relating to minor illnesses, not including prescriptions. With insurance, you’re looking at $20 – $40 for the visit and $5 – $15 for a generic drug. If you saw a regular physician without insurance (or even with a high-deductible plan), an office visit would be at least $100 out-of-pocket.
There are many illnesses we can catch and treat in the early stages on our own without medications and doctors. However, relying on ourselves entirely is risky to say the least at this point in time. It is most important to take care of yourself when you think you can manage it, but if your symptoms persist, or you are unsure you’re treating your illness properly, calling a doctor or going in for a visit could prevent much larger problems from occurring. New viruses are always developing and being brought over from different countries, living in animals, and dwelling in food products – just waiting for our immune systems to be down. Though they aren’t truly that predatory, it is a real concern to keep yourself safe from airborne and self-induced illnesses alike.
Take a look at some of illnesses of note, how to treat them, and when it’s a good idea to go to the doctor. Sometimes, that will be right away if the illness hasn’t been around very long. In other cases, you can recover for a minimal cost and get through it on your own.
Image: Winfield Woodworks.