The financial costs of chronic illness.

The financial costs of chronic illness.


We all suffer from bouts of ill health from time to time, and in the vast majority of cases, it’s a short-term thing, which is over within a few days at most.


Not everyone is so lucky, however. When chronic illness develops, it can have an enormous impact on a household, whether the sufferer is an adult, teen, or child – and one of the biggest burdens that you might face will be on your bank account.


The sad truth is that being ill costs money, but having a chronic illness can cost a fortune. And I’m going to take a look at some of the expenses with you right now. Let’s uncover the financial impact of chronic illness, and some ways of ensuring you get help.




The first thing that costs is, of course, treatment for the chronic illness as a result of regular medical expenses, which could increase if the condition gets worse.

Then there are the extras for procedures, specialist care, and meetings with consultants and experts. It’s important to understand that not all health insurance will give you the right coverage, and according to, that goes for Medicare, too.

Insurers can be notoriously stingy when it comes to paying out, unfortunately, so it’s important to get access to the best medical insurance you can.

You can’t prepare for chronic illness before you have it, other than to protect yourself with sensible insurance planning.


Doctor visits.


Even if you have insurance, there are still transport costs involved if you are doing a lot of travelling to and from your doctor’s office for appointments.

Specialist appointments could be even more expensive, particularly if you need to travel – possibly by plane – long distances for their expertise.

There are other, associated costs of travel to consider, too.

Will the person in your family with the chronic illness need a specialist vehicle?

Will you be able to adapt your current car, or will you have to buy one?

You might need to buy a wheelchair, to help them get around, too – an electric chair can cost upwards of $6,000.




Nutrition is a vital part of any care plan.

However, for those that suffer from a chronic condition such as cancer or heart disease, it might require a lot of investment from the patient’s family.

Supplements are incredibly expensive, and you might also need to eat specialty foods like gluten-free or similar, which can add an extra 20-25% onto your weekly grocery bill.

Must have staples for a healthy kitchen.

There is also the possibility that you need a fully liquid diet; throat cancer sufferers, for example, sometimes need to use an intravenous line to feed themselves, which can be eye wateringly expensive.


Loss of earnings.


Of course, all these costs might be manageable if the household is working as it was before the chronic illness arrived, but as you probably know, life just doesn’t work like that.

Many people with chronic illnesses have to give up working for the short or mid-term, but sometimes permanently.

The household income will drop by a significant amount, but still have all the additional bills that chronic illness treatment demands, and it’s almost always an unsustainable situation.


Risk to health.


It’s a vicious cycle, which can be scary and overwhelming, the stress of which could aggravate chronic illness symptoms or bring on new ones in those who are dealing with chronic illness in the family.

Research suggests that stress can cause conditions to worsen, or even turn into something else -and that could mean a deeper level of illness, higher treatment costs, and more expenditure and debt.


What’s the solution?


The trouble with chronic illness is that none of us believes it will ever happen to us. Unless you want a condition to destroy your finances, lifestyle, and possibly your relationships, it’s necessary to assume that you could become chronically ill.

Start with choosing the right medical insurance coverage that guarantees you a financial safety net if the worst eventually happens.

Also look at building an emergency fund. You’ll need enough to cover about six months of expenses, according to

It is vital that you invest your money to make the most out of it, too. Ultimately, you will need to access a lot of money when you suffer a chronic illness, and you will need plenty of liquidity as time goes by.

Hopefully, a chronic illness will never occur to you or your family – but, if it does, it’s important to know that you have planned well in advance and given yourself the best protection possible.


Published by Christine Blythe

Christine is the owner and author for her three blogs: Empty Nest Ancestry, Feathering the Empty Nest, and Top Web Blog Tips. Periodically, if a post topic is appropriate to either of her other blogs, they will be published as a guest post by CJB.